By Tom Moroney, Prashant Gopal and Justin Blum
BOSTON - Investigators asked residents to hand over hundreds of photos and videos of the scene of a bombing that killed three people at the Boston Marathon and swore they would track down the perpetrators.
“We will go to the ends of the earth to identify the suspect or subjects responsible for this despicable crime,” Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the city’s FBI office, said at a news conference.
The attack was one of the highest-profile acts of terror since the 9/11 assault on New York City and Washington. Police said they didn’t have suspects, and no organization claimed responsibility.
Officials will be working for days at the mile-square scene of the attack, said DesLauriers, whose agency is in charge. He said citizens can help by sharing images.
“There has to be hundreds, of not thousands, of photos and videos,” said Timothy Alben, superintendent of the State Police.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said security footage had been taken from nearby businesses.
“Even as we were removing victims, officers were assigned to go into the local establishments and secure those videos,” he said.
Davis said there were 176 casualties, with 17 in critical condition.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick said two explosive devices were found yesterday, and no unexploded bombs.
Federal and local law enforcement officers last night searched an apartment in the northern suburb of Revere, seven miles (11 kilometers) from the blast site.
The apartment is shared by three Saudi nationals studying English, according to one man living there.
Mohammed Badawood, 20, said police arrived at the apartment at 364 Ocean Ave. about 7:30 p.m. They told him a roommate was injured in the explosion.
Badawood said he hadn’t seen his roommate in two days and doubted he had anything to do with the explosions.
“He is a nice guy,” he said. “Quiet and clean.”
Police searched the unit with dogs and went through the trash, Badawood said. Badawood said he left at midnight to stay with a friend and police were still there.
Investigators probably are examining the possibility of either foreign or domestic attackers, said Timothy Murphy, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent for 23 years. He was deputy director of the bureau for a year and a half ending in 2011, when he left to work in the private sector.
“They’ll look at the timing -- the events that occurred in the past, who is most likely to commit something like this,” Murphy said. “They’ll come up with theories. They’ll look at international terrorism, including state sponsored.”
Investigators will create a timeline of events before and after the explosions, Murphy said. Forensic examiners will log every piece of evidence, and bombing materials probably will receive a preliminary analysis in Boston and then be sent to FBI labs in Quantico, Virginia, for more detailed look, Murphy said. Hundreds of agents will be involved.
Authorities will compare bomb materials to a database of those used in other crimes and in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.