Representatives of Congress, the FBI, and Boston law enforcement gave conflicting and unclear information about what they knew or did not know–or would reveal–about potential suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing Monday that killed three people and injured at least 144 others.
In a chaotic Monday evening press conference, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis stressed there was no suspect in custody at Brighman and Women’s Hospital in the Massachusetts capital. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), the Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN he had been told there was a suspect in custody. Rich Deslauriers, the FBI special agent assigned to the case, simply refused to answer questions.
“I want to stress one thing,” Davis repeatedly said at an evening press conference that left more questions than answers. “There is no suspect at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.”
McCaul (R-TX), the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, appeared on CNN at around the same time as the press conference and said although he did not know specific details, there was “a person of interest now in custody” who was undergoing questioning. For McCaul, what was “unclear” was whether the incident was a “foreign or domestic” act of terror.
Earlier in the day, the New York Post reported that a 20-year-old Saudi national was in custody.
Law enforcement authorities issued a lookout notice on Monday evening for a “darker-skinned or black male” who had earlier tried to enter a restricted area at the Marathon site but was denied entrance. The potential suspect also may be a foreigner, due to his accent, and was wearing a “a black backpack and black hooded sweatshirt.”
Deslauriers, the FBI agent in charge of the investigation, declined to answer any questions about whether there were potential suspects on the loose and deflected three questions about the number of bombs at the marathon. Various sources have indicated at least two undetonated bombs were found.
The FBI official also refused to answer any questions about whether law enforcement authorities had any suspects in custody–after Davis, the Police Commissioner, denied there was anyone in custody.
He repeatedly said he could not “comment on specifics” in what was a “very active” and “fluid” investigation.
Deslauriers would only say that his agency was conducting a criminal investigation that could turn into a “terrorist” investigation.