Several major U.S. news outlets, including CNN and The Associated Press, citing unnamed officials, said earlier Wednesday that a suspect was taken into custody and was expected to appear in Federal Court.
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The Boston Police Department took to social media to dispute those reports, saying "there has not been an arrest in the marathon attack." The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Boston also said there had been no arrest.
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The Associated Press said its source, described as a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation, was standing by information that a suspect had been taken into custody.
The agency said later that, according to an unnamed source, investigators had obtained an image of a potential suspect in the attack after sifting through photos and video.
A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the courthouse in midafternoon, the U.S. Marshals Service told AP, and security officials were sweeping the area. Workers were allowed back into the courthouse a short time later.
Plea for help from public
Law enforcement agencies had asked earlier for the public to come forward with photos, videos or any information that might help with the investigation into Monday's twin bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 170.
The bombs exploded 10 or more seconds apart just next to the race course, killing eight-year-old Martin Richard, of Boston, and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, of Medford. The Shenyang Evening News, a state-run Chinese newspaper, identified the third victim as Lu Lingzi, a graduate student at Boston University.
Injuries from the two explosions ranged from cuts and bruises to amputations. Many victims suffered lower-leg injuries, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums. Dozens of patients have since been released from hospitals around the Boston area.
The bombs were made from ordinary kitchen pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and ball bearings to inflict maximum carnage, investigators and others close to the case said. But the FBI said nobody had claimed responsibility.
More than 1,000 law enforcement officers from different agencies have been assigned to the investigation, which includes meticulously scouring through wreckage and debris, interviewing hundreds of witnesses and poring over thousands of videos, phone records, photographs and websites.
On Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama called the bombings "a heinous and cowardly act." He went on to say that "given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism."
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