BOSTON (AP) - Police and reporters have converged on the federal courthouse in Boston -- amid conflicting reports on whether a suspect is in custody in the bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 170 at the Boston Marathon. Several media outlets had reported earlier in the day that a suspect was identified from surveillance video taken at a Lord & Taylor store between the sites of the two bomb blasts. A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that a suspect is in custody and that the suspect is expected in federal court. But the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Boston say no arrests have been made. Today, investigators in white jumpsuits had fanned out across the streets, rooftops and awnings around the blast site in search of clues. They combed the debris still left in place from the aftermath of the bombing. Hospitals in the Boston area report that dozens of people who were treated for injuries in the bombings have now been released.
Feds Deny Reports Of Boston Suspect In CustodyBOSTON (AP) - Federal officials are denying that a suspect is in custody in the Boston Marathon bombings. A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press on Wednesday a suspect was in custody. But the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Boston dispute that. The official who spoke to The Associated Press did so on condition of anonymity and stood by the information even after it was disputed. The official was not authorized to divulge details of the investigation. The official had said the suspect was expected in federal court in Boston. Reporters and police have converged at the courthouse.
FROM NBC NEWS:
NBCNEWS.COM - Authorities investigating the Boston Marathon bombing said Wednesday they have the face but not the name of someone seen on video leaving a black bag near the scene of the blasts.
The person was seen on a surveillance camera from a Lord & Taylor department store, one official said.
Investigators said they had "solid leads" after viewing hundreds of hours of video. NBC News sources said there had not been an arrest.
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas and chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, told reporters: "I have confirmation from the FBI that they have not, they do not have anybody in custody at this time."
A senior Boston police official and a senior White House official also told NBC News that there had not been an arrest. Boston police said on an official Twitter account: "Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack."
An official told NBC News that investigators are "zeroing in on some people."
The investigators said they were focused on video taken in the area closest to the blasts, which killed three people and injured 176 near the finish line Monday. Senior officials in Boston also said the team of investigators on the ground is making "solid progress" and that forensics work on bomb parts continues.
Earlier in the day, doctors said they have pulled fragments as large as 2 inches, including pieces of wood, concrete and plastic, from the bodies of people wounded in the attack.
The injuries have been so severe that surgeons have operated a second time on some patients, even after amputations, to fight possible infection, said Dr. Peter Burke, the chief of trauma services at Boston Medical Center.
Investigators have said the two bombs were housed in metal containers — at least one a kitchen pressure cooker — and studded with metal, including fine nails or brads, to make the devices more lethal. Burke said that doctors are making the fragments available to police.
A 5-year-old boy was among the patients still in critical condition at the hospital, Burke said. In all, 69 patients were still at Boston hospitals, including 19 critically injured.
FBI bomb technicians returned to the scene of the explosions Wednesday with police dogs.
On Tuesday, investigators said their hunt for suspects and a motive in the marathon attack was "wide open" and disclosed the first details about the two bombs — saying that they were concealed in bags.
The lead investigator for the FBI, Richard DesLauriers, made an passionate plea for help from the public: "Someone knows who did this."
The devices appear to have been delivered to the marathon course in duffel bags.
In Boston, people filled a park late Tuesday where an 8-year-old boy killed in the blasts once played. They held candles, joined in prayer and sang "God Bless America."
The boy, Martin Richard, was waiting at the finish line. A second death was identified as Krystle Campbell, 29, of Medford, Mass. The third was confirmed Wednesday as Lingzi Lu, a graduate student at Boston University.
DesLauriers told reporters that the "range of suspects and motives remains wide open," and Attorney General Eric Holder told the public that no detail that might help investigators was too small to report.
"Importantly, the person who did this is someone's friend, neighbor, co-worker or relative. We are asking anyone who may have heard someone speak about the marathon, or the date of April 15, in any way that indicated that he or she may have targeted this event to call us," DesLauriers said.
Among photos from the scene under review are two given to NBC affiliate WHDH of Boston by a witness. The first picture shows a bag next to a mailbox along a barricade on the marathon route. The second — which the station said it had blurred because of its graphic nature — appears to show no sign of the bag.
There was no way to know whether the bag in those photos is relevant to the investigation, but the station provided them to the FBI for review, it said Tuesday. The person who took the pictures told WHDH that as long as an hour may have passed between the times the two photos were taken.
Sources involved in the investigation said that the pressure-cooker device was effectively a "homemade claymore," a directional explosive that appeared to include a triggering mechanism using a battery pack and a circuit board. Both of those elements were recovered at the scene.
A picture from investigators from after the attack showed the mangled metal of a pressure cooker. The other device was housed in a metal container, but so far there is not enough evidence to determine if it was also a pressure cooker, an FBI-Homeland Security bulletin said. Another photo showed the shredded remains of a black bag apparently used to house one of the bombs.
"They functioned as designed," said one official with strong knowledge of explosives.
The official also said: "It appeared to be built from scratch but with a sophisticated triggering mechanism. And frankly, at the end of the day, all bombs are crude devices, and it is the way they are triggered that can be sophisticated."
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick also announced that President Barack Obama would attend an interfaith service honoring the victims of the tragedy at 11 a.m. on Thursday at Cathedral of the Holy Cross in South Boston. White House press secretary Jay Carney said the first lady would also attend.
Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino also said a new centralized fund was set up in order to gather donations to help families affected by the tragedy. Called The One Fund Boston, contributions can be made through a website, onefundboston.org.
As Boston struggled to return to normal, the New York Yankees, longstanding rivals of the Boston Red Sox, played "Sweet Caroline," an anthem of the Red Sox' Fenway Park, at their game Tuesday night. The Red Sox, playing in Cleveland, hung a jersey in the dugout with the uniform number 617, representing the Boston area code, and the words "Boston Strong."