INVESTIGATORS probing the Boston Marathon bombings were said to have made a significant breakthrough, reportedly identifying a man whom they suspect in planting the explosive devices that killed three people and injured more than 170 earlier this week.
Contrary to some reports, nobody has yet been arrested.
However, multiple sources were quoted as saying that investigators have zeroed in on a suspect after harvesting videos from security cameras installed at shops near the blast site in downtown Boston, and by studying footage sent in by runners, spectators and reporters who had turned out for the annual event on Monday.
Earlier, hordes of reporters and satellite trucks converged on the federal courthouse building in Boston following an erroneous report that a suspect had been apprehended.
But the FBI, which is leading the probe into the Boston bombings, said nobody had been taken into custody. "Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack," Special Agent Greg Comowich said.
He went on to ask the press to exercise greater care in reporting the investigation.
"Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate.
"Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting."
The caution reflects the risks associated with drawing swift conclusions in what is a broad investigation, featuring officials from the local and state police, and the federal government.
Together, they have been combing through an area roughly one square mile in size around the blast site near the finish line of the marathon on Boston's Boylston Street.
Officials are expected to provide an update on the investigation later today.
As a result of the erroneous claims earlier in the afternoon, the rush to get to the federal courthouse in Boston was such that, within a few minutes, a large crowd of reporters and media crews had congregated on the pavements outside.
Not long afterwards, following the clarification from the authorities, the building was cleared.
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