The Boston Marathon bombing casualty count rose to nearly 200 a day after the smoke cleared and the investigation got into full swing Tuesday, although more questions than answers remain so far.
Authorities said 176 survivors are being treated for various injuries—many partial leg amputations—with 17 in critical condition and three dead, including an 8-year-old boy. But, aside from asking for the public’s patience, continuing to refute false rumors and asking for more tips, investigators shared few new details of the probe.
“This will be a worldwide investigation,” Rick DesLauriers, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Boston field office, told reporters. “We will go to where the evidence or the leads take us. We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects responsible for this despicable crime and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice.”
President Barack Obama officially termed the twin bombings an act of terrorism, calling it heinous, cowardly and evil. The Associated Press reported that the bombs were made of pressure cookers filled with ball bearings.
The crime scene was reduced to a 12-block area surrounding Copley Square from a 15-block area and will shrink as evidence is processed. But street closures around the Bolyston Street finish line where the explosions occurred 50 yards apart 3 p.m. Monday are expected to continue for several days.
“We are in the process of securing and processing the most complex crime scene that we’ve dealt with in the history of the department,” Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said. “We are working very closely with all of our partners.”
Investigators said there were no undetonated explosive devices found as they tried to address rumors that up to seven bombs were found aside from the two that went off. They also reiterated that they have no suspect in custody, despite widespread reports saying otherwise.
Davis added that investigators are sifting through the scores of video and still camera images from the scene while prioritizing those taken shortly before and after the blasts.
“This is probably one of the most well-photographed areas in the country yesterday,” Davis said, noting the logistical issues of sorting photos from a larger-than-usual amount of cameras aimed at the crime scene during the nation’s longest-running marathon.
DesLauriers said there were no known specific threats against the marathon before the explosions and he knew of no threats after the fact, either. Beyond that, all anyone could do was offer speculation.
“Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror,” Obama said in a brief national address Tuesday. “What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual.”
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.