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Remarks of Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers at Press Conference on Bombing Investigation

FBI Boston April 16, 2013

Remarks prepared for delivery.

Good afternoon. I am Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge of the Boston Division.

Let me recap our efforts in this investigation.

Yesterday at this time, our collaborative efforts were focused on saving lives and treating the injured. At the same time, resources were directed to ensure the safety of our community.

As soon as those important tasks were completed, first responders focused on establishing a criminal investigation. The FBI Boston’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, composed of more than 30 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including Boston Police, Massachusetts State Police, and ATF, HSI, United States Secret Service, and others responded to the scene. Many of them were already there as part of the general security for the marathon already in place.

The first step law enforcement took was to secure the physical area around the blast for the purpose of preserving evidence in the area related to the devices itself. This morning the FBI, along with Boston PD, Massachusetts State Police, and ATF officially began its forensic evidence recovery effort at the site. Their goal was to recover physical items related to the blast. Those items have been recovered and sent to the FBI’s Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. There, specialized examiners will reconstruct the device and determine its makeup and components. Among items partially recovered are pieces of black nylon—which could be from a backpack—and what appear to be fragments of BBs and nails possibly contained in a pressure cooker device. We are expediting this blast evidence to our Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia for a complete and thorough analysis.

In addition, this morning, it was determined that both of the explosives were placed in a dark-colored nylon bag or backpack. The bag would have been heavy because of the components believed to be in it. At this point, it is difficult to determine specific components used until we can eliminate other factors which may have been already present in the environment. In fact, that won’t be known with some certainty until the Laboratory completes its final review.

Away from the scene, yesterday afternoon, the JTTF began its investigation. Immediately after the bombing, the FBI initiated a command post. Those assigned to the JTTF, intelligence analysts, and other personnel from every state, local, and federal government agency associated with the JTTF—and many others on their own, including Boston PD and Mass State Police—more than 1,000 law enforcement officers across many agencies—have been assigned to this investigation via the command post. They began canvassing sources, reviewing government and public source databases, and conducting interviews with eyewitnesses and others to determine who is responsible for this crime. We are doing this methodically, carefully, yet with a sense of urgency.

All across the nation, and around the world, the force of the United States is working hard to locate those responsible.

Already, the FBI has received more than 2,000 tips as of noon today, many of which have already been reviewed, analyzed, and vetted.

We will continue to work around the clock, tirelessly, side by side with our partners to continue to investigate and act on these leads.

Regarding who might be suspected of this event, the investigation is in its infancy. As law enforcement, it’s our responsibility to thoroughly review each and every piece of evidence. Some of our activity you may see, some of it you won’t—but rest assured, we are working hard to get the answers.

At this time, there are no claims of responsibility. The range of suspects and motives remains wide-open.

Importantly, the person who did this is someone’s friend, neighbor, coworker, 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 he or she may target the event to call us. Someone knows who did this.

Cooperation from the community will play a crucial role is this investigation. We ask that businesses review and preserve surveillance video and other business records in their original form. And we are asking the public remain alert and to alert us to the following activity:

  • An individual who expressed a desire to target the marathon;
  • Suspicious interest in researching how to create explosive device;
  • The noise of explosions in remote areas prior to yesterday which may have been used as tests by those responsible;
  • Someone who appeared to be carrying an unusually heavy, dark-colored bag yesterday around the time of the blasts and in the vicinity of the blasts.

As further substantive details become available that are appropriate for release, then together we will either issue a release or hold a press conference.

Tomorrow, we plan to hold another press conference in the early afternoon.

Thank you very much, and I also want to thank the public for their tremendous support in this investigation.

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