Story Summary

Explosions at Boston Marathon finish line

At least two explosions rocked the finish line at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon.

More than 100 people were injured in the blasts and two people died.

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Investigators have pinpointed two men as “possible suspects” who were seen in images near the finish line of this week’s Boston Marathon — moments before twin bombs there exploded, killing three and injuring about 180 others — a law enforcement official said.

A circular sent out Wednesday to federal and state agencies features the photos “in an attempt to identify the individuals,” who were described as being of “high interest” to investigators.

One of the men is seen carrying a black backpack. An FBI official earlier said that authorities believe the bombs were placed inside a black nylon backpack or bag.

The source said that authorities had not yet identified the two men by name and that the photographs were not being released to the public for fear of impeding the investigation.

Earlier Wednesday, two official sources with knowledge of the investigation identified a man — who also hasn’t been named — as a possible suspect in the attack.

Seen on a video, this man wore a white baseball cap. One of the sources added that the cap was on backwards and the man was also wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt and a black jacket.

It was not immediately known if this man is one of those alluded to in the photographs distributed to law enforcement officials.

This movement in the investigation came two days after the horrific blast shook the city, during what is traditionally one of its biggest and most beloved events each year.

By Wednesday, authorities had made “significant progress” in the case but no arrests, a federal law enforcement source told CNN’s John King.

Sources previously told CNN that a suspect was in custody, but both Boston police and the FBI denied that any arrests had been made.

A Boston law enforcement source told CNN, “We got him,” but wouldn’t clarify whether that meant a suspect has been identified or arrested. Some federal sources said it was even too early to say investigators had identified the suspect, but several sources in Boston told CNN that they have a clear identification.

Speaking on CNN’s The Situation Room, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said investigators were closer to cracking the case “every hour.” But he urged patience with the probe.

“What I would say and I would ask of everyone is we give law enforcement the space to do their work,” Patrick said. “When they are ready with a complete picture, they will tell us what that picture is.”

He added, “I wish they had nailed the perpetrator within minutes of this catastrophe, but I understand from experience it’s going to take some time.”

Earlier Wednesday, investigators revealed more details about the makeup of the bombs, which exploded 12 seconds apart. One had been housed in a pressure cooker hidden inside a backpack, the FBI said in a joint intelligence bulletin. The device also had fragments that may have included nails, BBs and ball bearings, the agency said.

The lid of a pressure cooker thought to be used in the device was found on a rooftop at the scene, a federal law enforcement official with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

The second bomb was also housed in a metal container, but it was not clear whether it too was in a pressure cooker, the FBI said.

The U.S. government has warned federal agencies in the past that terrorists could turn pressure cookers into bombs by packing them with explosives and shrapnel and detonating them with blasting caps.

The bombs

Photos obtained by CNN show the remains of a pressure cooker found at the scene, along with a shredded black backpack and what appear to be metal pellets or ball bearings. Scraps of at least one pressure cooker, nails and nylon bags found at the scene were sent to the FBI’s national laboratory in Virginia, where technicians will try to reconstruct the devices, the agent leading the investigation said Tuesday.

The pieces suggest each of the devices was 6 liters (about 1.6 gallons) in volume, a Boston law enforcement source said. The recovered parts include part of a circuit board, which might have been used to detonate a device.

A law enforcement official said Monday’s bombs were probably detonated by timers. But the FBI said details of the detonating system were unknown.

While the clues moved the investigation forward, they did not make it immediately apparent whether the attack was an act of domestic or foreign terrorism.

“If your experience and your expertise is Middle East terrorism, it has the hallmarks of al Qaeda or a Middle East group,” former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes said. “If your experience is domestic groups and bombings that have occurred here, it has the hallmarks of a domestic terrorist like Eric Rudolph in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics bombings.”

Fuentes said he has investigated both types of terrorism — from Iraq to the United States — and finds the Boston attack has elements of both. “It has the hallmarks of both domestic and international (attacks), and you can see either side of that.”

Third victim identified

Boston University identified graduate student Lingzu Lu as the third person who died in Monday’s bombings.

Previously identified were Krystle Campbell, 29, of Arlington, Massachusetts, and Martin Richard, 8, of Dorchester, Massachusetts.

“She was the best,” Campbell’s distraught mother, Patty, told reporters Tuesday. “You couldn’t ask for a better daughter.”

Martin “was a bright, energetic young boy who had big dreams and high hopes for his future,” his school said in a statement. “We are heartbroken by this loss.”

The hunt for the attacker

The attack left Boston police with “the most complex crime scene that we’ve dealt with in the history of our department,” Commissioner Ed Davis said Tuesday.

Authorities sifted through thousands of pieces of evidence and a mass of digital photos and video clips. They have pleaded for the public’s help in providing additional leads and images.

“Someone knows who did this,” said Rick DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office, said. “The community will play a crucial role in this investigation.”

Medical personnel treating the wounded found evidence suggesting the bomb maker or bomb makers sought to maximize the suffering.

Dr. George Velmahos, head of trauma care at Massachusetts General Hospital, said his team found “numerous” metal pellets and nails inside patients’ bodies.

“There are people who have 10, 20, 30, 40 of them in their body, or more,” Velmahos said.

Dr. Ron Walls also said one patient had more than 12 carpenter-type nails.

“There is no question some of these objects were implanted in the device for the purpose of being exploded forward,” he said.

Victims continue recovery

As investigators continued to search for a suspect, those wounded in the incident continued to recover.

Boston-area hospitals had released at least 112 of the 178 people injured in the attack, according to CNN’s tally late Wednesday. Of the 66 people who were still hospitalized, 13 were in critical condition.

Boston Medical Center has two patients in critical condition, down from 11 just after the bombings, Dr. Peter Burke, chief of trauma care, told reporters Wednesday. Ten patients are in serious condition and seven are in fair condition, he said.

Spectator Steve Byrne was standing with a group of friends near a mailbox when the second blast went off. Now his face is scarred with shrapnel wounds. A BB pellet remains lodged in his neck. Doctors said they couldn’t remove it because was too close to nerves that control his vision, but he was out of the hospital on Wednesday.

Compared to how his friends are suffering, he told CNN’s AC360 that he feels lucky.

Four out of the five friends he was watching the marathon with have lost limbs, he said. One friend had 70 nails in his leg.

He remembers the explosion in vivid detail: the blast that was so strong that it burned his clothes off; the carnage around him; and the haunting, slow-motion daze of searching for his friends.

“We were having a great day and waiting to see our friend cross the finish line,” he said, “and then all of the sudden it turned in a flash.”

He told CNN he’s worried about the financial burdens his friends could face as a result of the explosion.

One friend is a carpenter and “both his hands are incinerated. He can’t go to work, and the bills keep coming in.”

“It’s not just the hospitals. It’s everyday life that doesn’t stop. … We’re just hoping the mayor, the governor, President Obama don’t let us as citizens down.”

Beyond those seriously wounded, the incident affected thousands, including Candace Rispoli, who was cheering on a friend when the festive atmosphere turned into a “terrifying hell.” She suffered minor injuries.

“I personally will never participate in an event of this nature in a city in fear that something like this could happen again,” she said. “I keep replaying the moments of terror over and over in my head and am just still in utter shock. Always seeing terrible things of this nature happen all over the world on TV, my heart would always go out to those directly affected. But I never imagined in a million years I would be a spectator at the Boston Marathon running for my life.”
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There is conflicting information as to whether someone has been arrested in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings.

A federal law enforcement source told CNN’s Fran Townsend that someone was arrested. But two senior administration officials and another federal official then told Townsend that there had been a misunderstanding among officials and that no one has been arrested.

Two Justice Department officials also told CNN’s Joe Johns that there has been no arrest, and that authorities were looking into where the earlier confusion came from.

 

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[Breaking news update at 1:47 p.m. Wednesday ]

An arrest has been made in the Boston bombings investigation based on two videos showing images of the suspect, a federal law enforcement source told CNN’s Fran Townsend.

[Breaking news update at 1:28 p.m. Wednesday ]

Boston University graduate student Lingzu Lu has been identified by the school as the third person who died in Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.

[Original story, posted at 1:11 p.m. Wednesday]

(CNN) — Investigators believe they have identified a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, a source who has been briefed on the investigation told CNN’s John King exclusively.

The breakthrough came from analysis of video from a department store near the site of the second explosion. Video from a Boston television station also contributed to the progress, said the source, who declined to be more specific but called it a significant development.

Earlier, a federal law enforcement source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told CNN that a lid to a pressure cooker thought to have been used in the bombings had been found on a roof of a building near the scene.

While such clues may move the investigation forward, they did not reveal whether the attack was an act of domestic or foreign terrorism.

“If your experience and your expertise is Middle East terrorism, it has the hallmarks of al Qaeda or a Middle East group,” former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes said. “If your experience is domestic groups and bombings that have occurred here, it has the hallmarks of a domestic terrorist like Eric Rudolph in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics bombings.”

Fuentes said he has investigated both types of terrorism — from Iraq to the United States — and finds the Boston attack has elements of both. “It has the hallmarks of both domestic and international (attacks), and you can see either side of that.”

The bombs

The bombs, which exploded 12 seconds apart, killed three people and wounded 183.

One was housed in a pressure cooker hidden inside a backpack, the FBI said in a joint intelligence bulletin. The device also had fragments that may have included nails, BBs and ball bearings, the agency said.

The second bomb was also housed in a metal container, but it was not clear whether it too was in a pressure cooker, the FBI said.

The U.S. government has warned federal agencies in the past that terrorists could turn pressure cookers into bombs by packing them with explosives and shrapnel and detonating them with blasting caps.

Photos obtained by CNN show the remains of a pressure cooker found at the scene, along with a shredded black backpack and what appear to be metal pellets or ball bearings.

Scraps of at least one pressure cooker, nails and nylon bags found at the scene were sent to the FBI’s national laboratory in Virginia, where technicians will try to reconstruct the devices, the agent leading the investigation said Tuesday.

The pieces suggest each of the devices was 6 liters (about 1.6 gallons) in volume, a Boston law enforcement source said. The recovered parts include part of a circuit board, which might have been used to detonate a device.

A law enforcement official said Monday’s bombs were probably detonated by timers. But the FBI said details of the detonating system were unknown.

The hunt for the attacker

The attack has left Boston police with “the most complex crime scene that we’ve dealt with in the history of our department,” Commissioner Ed Davis said Tuesday.

Authorities are sifting through more than 2,000 tips and a mass of digital photos and video clips, but are asking for the public’s help in providing additional leads and images.

“Someone knows who did this,” said Rick DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office. “Cooperation from the community will play a crucial role in this investigation.”

DesLauriers asked the public to report anyone who may have talked about targeting the marathon or shown interest in explosives. He urged anyone who may have heard explosions in remote areas — possibly indicating a bomb test — or seen someone carrying “an unusually heavy, dark-colored bag” around the time of the attack to come forward.

Who may have wanted to cause mass destruction — and whether the individual or individuals acted alone or as part of a group — remained a mystery.

“We really don’t know if it’s a foreign or domestic threat,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “We don’t know whether this was a homegrown terrorist or part of a wider conspiracy.”

A “lone wolf” attacker could be particularly difficult to identify.

“This is what you worry about the most,” a source with knowledge of the investigation said. “No trail, no intelligence.”

“Boston is not going to be intimidated by this,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a former U.S. senator from Massachusetts, in testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “But we are going to find out who did this. The police work being done is extraordinary. The FBI is remarkable. There is a great deal of forensic evidence. We are hopeful we can bring people to justice.”

Clues from inside the hospital

Medical personnel treating the wounded found evidence suggesting the bombmaker or bombmakers sought to maximize the suffering.

Dr. George Velmahos, head of trauma care at Massachusetts General Hospital, said his team found metal pellets and nails inside patients’ bodies.

“They are numerous. There are people who have 10, 20, 30, 40 of them in their body, or more,” Velmahos said.

While most of the patients treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital were wounded by “ordinary debris,” three were struck by “perfectly round objects” that were uniform, consistent and metallic, the hospital’s chairman of emergency medicine said.

Dr. Ron Walls also said one patient had more than 12 carpenter-type nails.

“There is no question some of these objects were implanted in the device for the purpose of being exploded forward,” he said.

The process of healing is already well under way. Boston Medical Center has two patients in critical condition, down from 11 just after the bombings, Dr. Peter Burke, chief of trauma care, told reporters Wednesday. Ten patients are in serious condition and seven are in fair condition, he said.

A traumatic road ahead

Candace Rispoli was cheering on a friend when the festive atmosphere turned into a “terrifying hell.”

“One of my best friends … was actually trampled and thrown to the blood-splattered ground when it first happened,” Rispoli told CNN’s iReport. “She was able to get up and keep running, but when I turned around to seek all my friends, I could not see her and panicked.”

Rispoli, who suffered minor injuries, said the attack has changed her life.

“I personally will never participate in an event of this nature in a city in fear that something like this could happen again,” she said. “I keep replaying the moments of terror over and over in my head and am just still in utter shock. Always seeing terrible things of this nature happen all over the world on TV, my heart would always go out to those directly affected. But I never imagined in a million years I would be a spectator at the Boston Marathon running for my life.”
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TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Investigators believe they have identified a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, a source who has been briefed on the investigation told CNN’s John King exclusively.

The breakthrough came from analysis of video from a department store near the site of the second explosion. Video from a Boston television station also contributed to the progress, said the source, who declined to be more specific but called it a significant development.

Earlier, a federal law enforcement source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told CNN that a lid to a pressure cooker thought to have been used in the bombings had been found on a roof of a building near the scene.

While such clues may move the investigation forward, they did not reveal whether the attack was an act of domestic or foreign terrorism.

“If your experience and your expertise is Middle East terrorism, it has the hallmarks of al Qaeda or a Middle East group,” former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes said. “If your experience is domestic groups and bombings that have occurred here, it has the hallmarks of a domestic terrorist like Eric Rudolph in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics bombings.”

Fuentes said he has investigated both types of terrorism — from Iraq to the United States — and finds the Boston attack has elements of both. “It has the hallmarks of both domestic and international (attacks), and you can see either side of that.”

The bombs

The bombs, which exploded 12 seconds apart, killed three people and wounded 183.

One was housed in a pressure cooker hidden inside a backpack, the FBI said in a joint intelligence bulletin. The device also had fragments that may have included nails, BBs and ball bearings, the agency said.

The second bomb was also housed in a metal container, but it was not clear whether it too was in a pressure cooker, the FBI said.

The U.S. government has warned federal agencies in the past that terrorists could turn pressure cookers into bombs by packing them with explosives and shrapnel and detonating them with blasting caps.

Photos obtained by CNN show the remains of a pressure cooker found at the scene, along with a shredded black backpack and what appear to be metal pellets or ball bearings.

Scraps of at least one pressure cooker, nails and nylon bags found at the scene were sent to the FBI’s national laboratory in Virginia, where technicians will try to reconstruct the devices, the agent leading the investigation said Tuesday.

The pieces suggest each of the devices was 6 liters (about 1.6 gallons) in volume, a Boston law enforcement source said. The recovered parts include part of a circuit board, which might have been used to detonate a device.

A law enforcement official said Monday’s bombs were probably detonated by timers. But the FBI said details of the detonating system were unknown.

The hunt for the attacker

The attack has left Boston police with “the most complex crime scene that we’ve dealt with in the history of our department,” Commissioner Ed Davis said Tuesday.

Authorities are sifting through more than 2,000 tips and a mass of digital photos and video clips, but are asking for the public’s help in providing additional leads and images.

“Someone knows who did this,” said Rick DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office. “Cooperation from the community will play a crucial role in this investigation.”

DesLauriers asked the public to report anyone who may have talked about targeting the marathon or shown interest in explosives. He urged anyone who may have heard explosions in remote areas — possibly indicating a bomb test — or seen someone carrying “an unusually heavy, dark-colored bag” around the time of the attack to come forward.

Who may have wanted to cause mass destruction — and whether the individual or individuals acted alone or as part of a group — remained a mystery.

“We really don’t know if it’s a foreign or domestic threat,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “We don’t know whether this was a homegrown terrorist or part of a wider conspiracy.”

A “lone wolf” attacker could be particularly difficult to identify.

“This is what you worry about the most,” a source with knowledge of the investigation said. “No trail, no intelligence.”

“Boston is not going to be intimidated by this,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, a former U.S. senator from Massachusetts, in testimony to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “But we are going to find out who did this. The police work being done is extraordinary. The FBI is remarkable. There is a great deal of forensic evidence. We are hopeful we can bring people to justice.”

Clues from inside the hospital

Medical personnel treating the wounded found evidence suggesting the bombmaker or bombmakers sought to maximize the suffering.

Dr. George Velmahos, head of trauma care at Massachusetts General Hospital, said his team found metal pellets and nails inside patients’ bodies.

“They are numerous. There are people who have 10, 20, 30, 40 of them in their body, or more,” Velmahos said.

While most of the patients treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital were wounded by “ordinary debris,” three were struck by “perfectly round objects” that were uniform, consistent and metallic, the hospital’s chairman of emergency medicine said.

Dr. Ron Walls also said one patient had more than 12 carpenter-type nails.

“There is no question some of these objects were implanted in the device for the purpose of being exploded forward,” he said.

The process of healing is already well under way. Boston Medical Center has two patients in critical condition, down from 11 just after the bombings, Dr. Peter Burke, chief of trauma care, told reporters Wednesday. Ten patients are in serious condition and seven are in fair condition, he said.

A traumatic road ahead

Candace Rispoli was cheering on a friend when the festive atmosphere turned into a “terrifying hell.”

“One of my best friends … was actually trampled and thrown to the blood-splattered ground when it first happened,” Rispoli told CNN’s iReport. “She was able to get up and keep running, but when I turned around to seek all my friends, I could not see her and panicked.”

Rispoli, who suffered minor injuries, said the attack has changed her life.

“I personally will never participate in an event of this nature in a city in fear that something like this could happen again,” she said. “I keep replaying the moments of terror over and over in my head and am just still in utter shock. Always seeing terrible things of this nature happen all over the world on TV, my heart would always go out to those directly affected. But I never imagined in a million years I would be a spectator at the Boston Marathon running for my life.”

CNN’s Fran Townsend, Matt Smith, Dave Alsup, Henry Hanks, Susan Candiotti, Rande Iaboni, Gloria Borger and John King contributed to this report.

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President Barack Obama will be in Boston on Thursday to speak at an interfaith service dedicated to the those wounded or killed in the Boston Marathon bombings.

The service will be held to 10 o’clock Chicago time at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, a catholic church in Boston’s South End.

WGN will have live coverage of the service.

Former FBI Agent Ross Rice joins WGN Morning News with insight into Boston investigation

Within a day of the Oklahoma City bombing, officials had named their suspect: Timothy McVeigh. Within two days of the 9/11 attacks, investigators had zeroed in on al Qaeda as the perpetrator.

But as loved ones mourn the deaths of three people and dozens remain hospitalized from dual bombings at the Boston Marathon, two questions continue to hound authorities: Who triggered the attack, and why?

On Wednesday morning, a federal law enforcement source with firsthand knowledge of the investigation told CNN’s Fran Townsend that a lid to a pressure cooker thought to have been used in the bombings had been found on a roof of a building at the scene.

While such clues move the investigation forward, even for seasoned investigators, the theories run the gamut on whether Monday’s attack was an act of domestic or foreign terrorism.

“All of the talking heads that discuss this incident and incidents like it, if your experience and your expertise is Middle East terrorism, it has the hallmarks of al Qaeda or a Middle East group. If your experience is domestic groups and bombings that have occurred here, it has the hallmarks of a domestic terrorist like Eric Rudolph in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics bombings,” former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes said.

“I’ve been to both. I’ve run bomb scenes in Iraq and also in the U.S. It has the hallmarks of both domestic and international (attacks), and you can see either side of that.”

While the answers remain uncertain, new information continues to surface.

The bombs

The two bombs, which exploded within 12 seconds of each other, killed three people and wounded 183.

One was housed in a pressure cooker hidden inside a backpack, the FBI said in a Joint Intelligence Bulletin. The device also had fragments that may have included nails, BBs and ball bearings, the agency said.

The second bomb was also housed in a metal container, but there’s not enough evidence to determine whether it was also in a pressure cooker, the FBI said.

The U.S. government has warned federal agencies in the past that pressure cookers — airtight pots used to quickly cook or preserve foods — have been packed with explosives and shrapnel and detonated with blasting caps.

Photos obtained by CNN showed the remains of a pressure cooker found at the scene, along with a shredded black backpack and what appear to be metal pellets or ball bearings.

Scraps of at least one pressure cooker, nails and nylon bags found at the scene are being sent to the FBI’s national laboratory in Virginia, where technicians will try to reconstruct the devices, the federal agent leading the investigation said Tuesday.

The pieces recovered so far suggest the devices could carry 6 liters (1.5 gallons) each, a Boston law enforcement source said. The parts found also include a partial circuit board, which would be used to detonate a device, as well as the lid found on the rooftop.

A law enforcement official said Monday’s bombs were likely detonated by timers. But the FBI said details of the detonating system are still unknown.

The hunt for the attacker

The attack left Boston police with “the most complex crime scene that we’ve dealt with in the history of our department,” Commissioner Ed Davis said.

Authorities are sifting through more than 2,000 tips and a mass of digital photos and video clips, but are asking for the public’s help in providing additional leads and images.

“Someone knows who did this,” said Rick DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office. “Cooperation from the community will play a crucial role in this investigation.”

DesLauriers asked the public to report anyone who talked about targeting the marathon or showed interest in explosives. He urged anyone who might have heard the sounds of explosions in remote areas — possibly by someone testing a bomb — or saw someone carrying “an unusually heavy, dark-colored bag” around the time of the attack to come forward.

Exactly who wanted to cause mass destruction — and whether they acted alone or as part of a group — remain a giant mystery.

“We really don’t know if it’s a foreign or domestic threat,” said Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “We don’t know whether this was a homegrown terrorist or part of a wider conspiracy.”

And the possibility of a “lone wolf” attacker has some in the intelligence community concerned.

“This is what you worry about the most,” a source with knowledge of the investigation said. “No trail, no intelligence.”

Clues from inside the hospital

As medical personnel scrambled to treat the wounded, they found disturbing pieces of evidence that suggest the terrorist wanted to maximize the suffering.

Dr. George Velmahos, head of trauma care at Massachusetts General Hospital, said his team found items such as pellets and nail-like objects inside patients’ bodies.

“They are numerous. There are people who have 10, 20, 30, 40 of them in their body, or more,” Velmahos said.

While most of the patients treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital were injured by “ordinary debris,” three were wounded by “perfectly round objects” that were very uniform, consistent and metallic, the hospital’s chair of emergency medicine said.

Dr. Ron Walls also said one patient had more than 12 carpenter-type nails.

“There is no question some of these objects were implanted in the device for the purpose of being exploded forward,” he said.

A traumatic road ahead

Candace Rispoli was cheering on a friend in the race when the festive atmosphere turned into a “terrifying hell.”

“One of my best friends … was actually trampled and thrown to the blood splattered ground when it first happened,” Rispoli told CNN’s iReport. “She was able to get up and keep running, but when I turned around to seek all my friends, I could not see her and panicked.”

Even though Rispoli suffered only minor injuries, the attack has changed her life forever.

“I know I personally will never participate in an event of this nature in a city in fear that something like this could happen again. My hands have still not stopped shaking,” she said.

“I keep replaying the moments of terror over and over in my head and am just still in utter shock. Always seeing terrible things of this nature happen all over the world on TV, my heart would always go out to those directly affected. But I never imagined in a million years I would be a spectator at the Boston Marathon running for my life.”

CNN’s Dave Alsup, Henry Hanks, Susan Candiotti, Rande Iaboni, Gloria Borger and John King contributed to this report.

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Beyond the shattered glass, the blood, the wails of pain, there are the questions: Who did this? Why? And how?

Monday’s terror attack on the Boston Marathon killed 8-year-old Martin Richard, and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, a young woman nearly 12 years removed from her high school graduation in a Boston suburb, and one other person.  It also left more than 170 others wounded. As Massachusetts and the rest of America mourned, the FBI’s top investigator vowed to travel “to the ends of the Earth,” if need be, to find those responsible.

For some, the attacks brought immediate comparisons to the September 11, 2001, attacks, partly because of reports that investigators were questioning Saudi Arabian citizens.

For others, the bombs that exploded near the finish line of the marathon Monday afternoon felt more homegrown, more akin to the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that left 168 people dead or the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing that killed two.

Authorities took pains to caution Americans against jumping to conclusions.

Combing through the debris, fanning out to interview witnesses, scanning radical websites, they were ruling nothing out — or in — on Tuesday.

President Barack Obama, speaking Tuesday after meeting with his national security team, seemed to signal that investigators are starting from scratch.

They don’t know, he said, whether the bombing was a work of an organized group or a disgruntled loner. Nor do they know whether the violence came from within or was imported from overseas.

“This was a heinous and cowardly act, and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terror,” he said.

Shocking attack

The blasts Monday happened in quick succession in Boston’s historic Copley Square, near the row of international flags leading to the finish line. The pressure wave whipped the limp flags straight out, as if they were caught in a hurricane.

Some runners said they thought the first blast was from a celebratory cannon. Any such illusions were shattered when the second blast erupted, startling the exhausted runners out of their post-race daze.

“When the second one happened, it was very 9/11-ish,” runner Tom Buesse said on CNN’s “Starting Point” on Tuesday.

As details emerged about the type of explosives used in the attacks, so did the intimate details of the victims.

An image of 8-year-old Martin Richard shows the boy holding a bright blue sign with the word “Peace.” On Monday, the boy and his family were watching the Boston Marathon near the finish line when two bombs exploded just off Copley Square in the heart of the city.

The grade-schooler was killed, authorities said.

Krystle Campbell, who graduated from Medford High School in Massachusetts in 2001, was also killed in Monday’s attack. There were no immediate details about the third victim.

As is often the case in such incidents, rumors of other bombs quickly began to circulate. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and federal investigators dispelled those rumors Tuesday, saying the only known explosives were the two bombs that went off.

Jittery passengers on a flight from Boston to Chicago on Tuesday expressed concern over two Arabic-speaking passengers, who were removed from the plane.

And security scares disrupted activities at Boston’s Logan International Airport, LaGuardia Airport in New York and a train station in Cleveland.

All were unfounded, authorities said.

In Boston, police urged residents to be patient with the extra security precautions in transit stations and elsewhere. Investigators checked vents and pipes of buildings near the site of the explosions, according to a law enforcement source on the scene.

Meanwhile, city leaders promised to emerge unbowed.

“Boston will overcome,” Mayor Thomas Menino said.

Bomb details

Although investigators still don’t know who was behind the bombing, they moved closer Tuesday to understanding the devices used.

A federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Tuesday that the bombs were apparently placed in a metal pressure cooker hidden inside a backpack.

Another law enforcement official told CNN it was “likely but not certain” that the bombs were on a timer and not set off remotely by a cell phone.

Another federal law enforcement official said both bombs were small, and initial tests showed no C-4 or other high-grade explosive, suggesting that the packages used in the attack were crude.

What remained unclear was whether the bombs had been packed with shrapnel or whether the metal containers blew apart, hurling pieces into the bodies of nearby victims.

Some law enforcement sources said they did not believe that the bombs had been packed with ball bearings or other shrapnel. But Dr. Ron Walls, the emergency medicine chairman at Boston Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said surgeons there had retrieved something like nails, as well as “consistent, metallic, perfectly round objects” slightly larger than a BB, from victims.

“There is no question that some of these devices were, some of these objects were planted in the device for the purpose of being exploded forward when the bomb went off,” he said.

 

Search for answers

Authorities pleaded for patience with swarming investigators, who expect to occupy Copley Square for at least two days, snarling traffic and interrupting the lives and work of countless Bostonians.

They asked the public to submit photos and videos that could help identify a suspect or explain how someone was able to slip bombs undetected into what Police Commissioner Ed Davis described as one of the most photographed spots in America.

The FBI took charge of the investigation, and Boston Field Office Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers vowed to go to the “ends of the Earth” to find out who was behind the bombing.

“Our mission is clear: to bring to justice those responsible for the marathon bombing,” he said. “The American public wants answers; the citizens of the city of Boston and the commonwealth of Massachusetts want and deserve answers.”

Late Monday, authorities began searching the apartment of a young Saudi man who was on a student visa and injured at the race in nearby Revere. He was found to have no connection to the attack. “He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” a U.S. official told CNN.

A Saudi woman, a medical student who was also injured in the blast, has also been interviewed by investigators, according to a law enforcement source.

Davis said many people were being questioned.

Like “being in Iraq”

Nurse Jim Asaiante was stationed near the finish line, expecting to treat the usual ailments from runners: cramps and dehydration.

Suddenly, he found himself in a battlefield, with blood and debris everywhere.

“For me, it was just like going back to being in Iraq in 2006-2007,” said Asaiante, an Army captain who served an 18-month tour.

“I heard the first IED, and I know there’s never one. The bad guys always set up two or three,” he said.

Dr. Albert Pendleton, an orthopedic surgeon who was helping staff the race’s medical tent, said Tuesday that it was “basically like the bomb took out the legs of everybody.”

“It was horrific,” he said.

Several patients lost limbs, doctors said Tuesday in briefings.

Of the more than 170 people who were treated at hospitals, at least 17 were in critical condition and 41 in serious condition, according to hospital officials. At least 51 had gone home as of Tuesday afternoon, according to a CNN tally.

At least nine of the wounded were children.

One blast knocked 78-year-old marathoner Bill Iffrig to the ground.

“The shock waves just hit my whole body, and my legs just started jittering around. I knew I was going down,” he said.

Iffrig was not seriously injured. But trails of blood, severed arms and legs and other body parts littered the scene.

Never the same again

After Monday’s tragedy, some wondered whether the spectacle of the Boston Marathon would ever happen again.

The race — which draws more than 20,000 participants — is the world’s oldest annual marathon, dating to 1897.

It’s a tradition that not only symbolizes the arrival of spring in Boston, it marks Patriots Day, which commemorates the day of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War.

“The Boston Marathon has endured two world wars and many other things,” said Fred Treseler, who has helped train more than 3,000 athletes for the race.

“I am quite sure there will be a Boston Marathon next year. But for certain, the Boston Marathon has been changed forever.”

The terror attack rang alarm bells across the country.

Authorities in New York and Los Angeles stepped up security. In London, authorities began reviewing measures for that city’s upcoming marathon.
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A day after the fatal terror attack on the Boston Marathon, authorities warned the city’s residents to keep their guard up Tuesday amid a massive investigation to uncover a clear reason for the bombings.

Three people died — including an 8-year-old boy — and more than 170 were injured when the twin blasts went off near the finish line Monday afternoon.

“This was a heinous and cowardly act and given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday after a briefing with his national security team. “Anytime bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror.”

Boston leaders vowed to emerge from the attack unbowed.

“Moments like this and our response to them define who we are,” Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley said Tuesday.

bostonmayor

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino

“Boston will overcome,” Mayor Thomas Menino promised.

Investigators spent Monday going over the 12-block crime scene and fanning out to interview witnesses, with FBI Boston Field Office Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers vowing to go to the “ends of the earth” to find out who was behind the bombing.

Law enforcement hasn’t come to any conclusion about whether the bombing was the work of domestic or international terrorists, two senior Pentagon officials told CNN Tuesday.

Despite earlier reports that more bombs had been found, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said there were no explosives other than the two that detonated. DesLauriers said authorities were aware of no new public safety threats, but police officials asked Boston residents for patience with swarming investigators and increased security precautions around the city.

They also pleaded for the public to submit cell phone images and video that could help unravel the mystery of who created such carnage at one of the nation’s most storied sporting traditions.

The blasts marked a grotesque end to what should have been a celebration of triumph.

One man’s legs were instantly blown off, yet he kept trying to stand up. Exhausted marathoners had to muscle the energy to flee the bloody scene.

Investigators don’t know the motive for the bombings and don’t have a specific suspect, nor have they found any surveillance video showing the bombs being placed, a law enforcement source told CNN on Tuesday.

A day after the bombings, as Pope Francis told Bostonians to “combat evil with good” and runners in Atlanta staged a silent run to commemorate the victims, Americans alternately mourned and nervously wondered who was behind the violence.

A stunning attack

The blasts happened in quick succession, near the row of international flags that led up to the finish line. The impact was so powerful, it whipped the limp flags straight out, as if they were caught in a hurricane.

Some runners said they thought the first blast was from a celebratory cannon. Any such illusions were shattered when the second blast erupted, startling the exhausted runners out of their post-race daze.

“When the second one happened, it was very 9-11ish,” runner Tom Buesse told CNN’s “Starting Point” Tuesday.

One blast knocked 78-year-old marathoner Bill Iffrig to the ground.

“I was just approaching the last straightaway to the finish line, and I had a good day and was feeling really good, and I got down to within about 15 feet of the finishing apron and just tremendous explosion, sounded like a bomb went off right next to me,” Iffrig said.

“The shock waves just hit my whole body and my legs just started jittering around. I knew I was going down,” he said.

Iffrig was not seriously injured. But trails of blood, severed arms and legs and other body parts littered the scene nearby.

Of the 176 people who were treated at hospitals, at least 17 were in critical condition and 41 in serious condition, according to hospital officials.

At least nine of the wounded were children. Some of the wounded kids have already left the hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital spokeswoman Meghan Weber said.

Dr. Albert Pendleton, an orthopedic surgeon who was helping staff the race’s medical tent, told CNN on Tuesday it was “basically like the bomb took out the legs of everybody.”

“It was horrific,” he said.

Several patients lost limbs, doctors said Tuesday in briefings.

Confusion reigned Tuesday over whether the bombs contained ball bearings or some other form of shrapnel — a key indicator that could help investigators fingerprint the explosives and find those who made them.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital found pellets and sharp nail-like objects in their patients who were wounded in the bombings, said Dr. George Velmahos, head of trauma care for the hospital.

But earlier, a federal law enforcement source discounted reports the bombs had been packed with ball bearings. The source told CNN National Security Analyst Fran Townsend that investigators believe the bombs may have been placed in a trash can, fragments of which turned into shrapnel when they exploded.

The hunt for clues

Investigators don’t know who was behind the attack, or whether it was spawned domestically or from afar. But federal authorities are classifying it as an act of terrorism.

Federal and local investigators — including bomb technicians — searched an apartment in nearby Revere, the city’s fire department posted on Facebook early Tuesday.

The search is linked to a young Saudi Arabian man in the United States on a student visa, the law enforcement source who spoke to CNN on Tuesday said.

Nothing was found at the apartment linking the man to the bombings, the source said, cautioning not to read too much into the search as investigators will be talking to numerous people.

The search took place by consent, according to another federal law enforcement source, meaning no search warrant was needed.

A federal law enforcement official said both bombs were small, and initial tests showed no C-4 or other high-grade explosive, suggesting that the packages used in the attack were crude.

President Barack Obama, who said Monday the bomber or bombers would “feel the full weight of justice,” received overnight briefings on the investigation, a White House official said.

The explosions went off near the finish line about 4 hours and 9 minutes into the race, within a 10-minute window of the average finish time for the marathon.

But the fact that the blasts took place near the end of the race “seems to indicate this was not geared toward maximum damage,” said a former federal law enforcement official who now works in the intelligence community.

“It may speak volumes about the (level of) planning that went into this,” the source said. “It raises questions … why didn’t the bombs go off when the crowd was packed in like sardines when the winners were crossing the finish line? It could mean the people behind it couldn’t get access to the area when they originally intended.”

Officials have no suspect in custody, but many people are being questioned, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said.

Investigators warned police to be on the lookout for a “darker-skinned or black male” with a possible foreign accent in connection with the attack, according to a law enforcement advisory obtained by CNN. The man was seen with a black backpack and sweatshirt and was trying to get into a restricted area about five minutes before the first explosion, the lookout notice states.

‘Just like going back’ to Iraq

Nurses Stephen Segatore and Jim Asaiante were stationed near the finish line, expecting to treat the usual ailments from runners — cramps and dehydration.

Suddenly, they found themselves in a battlefield, with blood and debris everywhere.

“For me, it was just like going back to being in Iraq in 2006-2007,” said Asaiante, an Army captain who served an 18-month tour.

“I heard the first IED, and I know there’s never one. The bad guys always set up two or three” improvised explosive devices, he said.

The plumes of smoke and images of bloodied victims running down streets also triggered haunting memories of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Tami Hughes had just crossed the finish line and was looking for her husband when she heard a deafening explosion.

“I didn’t know if it was a small aircraft going into the building,” said Hughes, who was in the bustling financial district during the 9/11 attacks.

“I turned around and immediately saw the whitish-brownish smoke billowing up four or five stories and I couldn’t believe that, you know, could it be a bomb? And I stared at it and about five or seven seconds later, when the second one went off, I knew immediately that it was something coordinated or organized.”

Never the same again

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, dating back to 1897.

It’s a tradition that not only symbolizes the arrival of spring in Boston, and it also marks Patriots Day, which commemorates the day of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War.

Each year, more than 20,000 pound the pavement through the winding streets of Boston as thousands of spectators cheer them on.

After Monday’s tragedy, some wondered whether the spectacle would ever happen again.

“The Boston Marathon has endured two world wars and many other things,” said Fred Treseler, who has helped train more than 3,000 athletes for the race.

“I am quite sure there will be a Boston Marathon next year. But for certain, the Boston Marathon has been changed forever.”

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The FBI and state and local police are intensifying their search into the cause of the bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, vowing for a “world-wide investigation” at a Tuesday morning press conference.