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By Mike Dorning and Phil Mattingly
(Updated, 3:15 p.m.)
BOSTON – Contrary to reports from the Associated Press and The Boston Globe, officials from both the Boston Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have said that there is currently no suspect in custody for the Boston Marathon bombings.
Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman Jason Pack said in an e-mail that no arrests have been made at this point and shortly after 2:30 p.m. the Boston Police Department tweeted: "Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack."
At 3:10 p.m. Boston.com tweeted that the federal court was being evacuated. "Federal courthouse evacuated; hundreds outside. People are being pushed back from building. Coast Guard and police boats in water," said the tweet, followed by: "The courthouse is where a large contingent of media had gathered for an expected appearance by the suspect in Marathon bombings."
The news source also reported that Brigham and Women's Hospital was being evacuated, but the evacuation was due to a false alarm. A locked car with gas cans in the back had been left locked at the valet, said the news source's Twitter page.
Investigators combing the site of the Boston Marathon bombing have recovered a piece of a circuit board they believe was part of one explosive device and the lid of a pressure cooker blown onto a rooftop, according to federal law enforcement officials.
The additional pieces of the bombs that authorities believe were fashioned from ordinary pressure cookers packed with nails, ball bearings and other shrapnel may ease the task of tracing the manufacturer and possibly the place where the components were purchased, clues that might lead to the bomber.
The first days of the FBI-led probe of the April 15 bombing are providing a clearer picture of the devices that killed three people and injured more than 170 others in Boston. Investigators also found scraps of black nylon at the blast site that suggest the bombs were hidden in a black duffel bag or backpack.
With the investigation “in its infancy,” Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, yesterday asked members of the public to search their memories for any recollection of someone who may have talked about the marathon as a target or who showed an interest in explosives. The unexplained sound of a blast in a remote area might have signaled a test run, he said.
“The person who did this was someone’s friend, neighbor or co-worker,” DesLauriers said at a news conference yesterday. “Someone knows who did this.”
He also sought witnesses at the marathon on race day for information or photos of anyone carrying a heavy dark bag.
The bombing is one of the highest-profile acts of terror in the U.S. since the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City and Washington in 2001. No group or organization have claimed responsibility, and U.S. lawmakers and intelligence officials have said there were no indications of a plot beforehand.
President Barack Obama plans to travel to Boston on April 18 for a service for the victims of the bombing.
“This was a heinous and cowardly act and, given what we now know took place, the FBI is investigating this as an act of terrorism,” the president said yesterday at the White House, his second statement on the attack in less than 18 hours. “We don’t have a sense of motive yet, so everything at this point is speculation.”