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Investigators Are Tight Lipped About Boston Probe


It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm David Greene. Good morning. We are continuing to follow the investigation into the bombings yesterday at the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed in the attack. We know now that over 150 were injured. Federal, state and local officials have been briefing reporters in Boston on the latest. And we're joined in the studio by NPR's counterterrorism correspondent, Dina Temple-Raston. Hey, Dina.


GREENE: So we're hearing from a lot of officials in Boston this morning. Are we learning anything new?

TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, Gov. Deval Patrick provided the only new details in the press conference this morning. And here's what he said:


TEMPLE-RASTON: The reason why that's new is that we'd heard there'd been somewhere in the neighborhood of seven possible other bombs found, and that turned out not to be true. We also heard that there was a third device that was exploded yesterday. So what he is saying is that it wasn't an explosive device; they just exploded a package that was suspicious.

GREENE: By the authorities. I mean, they did it to make sure it wasn't anything unsafe.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Exactly. So it wasn't an unexploded bomb. You know, investigators are being really cautious about revealing anything about this investigation. We've heard from our sources that this could take a long time before officials can definitively say who's behind this. We're hearing in the press conference that they're actually asking for videotapes - and any photographs, or anything people might have, which is also an indication that they are really searching for leads.

GREENE: And there are a lot of videotapes. I mean, people are out there with iPhones at a marathon. That's one of the realities here - that they have a lot of footage to actually comb.

TEMPLE-RASTON: Exactly. Well, they also have all the security cameras that were trained on the course itself. So - which will be a little easier to comb because they have software that will allow them to comb that more efficiently.

INSKEEP: Dina Temple-Raston, there have been a lot of questions about a man possibly in custody - not in custody, being questioned; a search warrant being served; various news reports out there. Just tell us what your sources say. Is anyone in custody for this attack?

TEMPLE-RASTON: No one is in custody for this attack. When we hear about people who are people of interest, it could be someone who went into a restricted area. I don't know if you've ever been to the Boston Marathon, but it's pretty easy to go into a restricted area, the way it is. And they're just questioning him out of an abundance of caution. And every time they question someone, someone assumes that must be a suspect. It's not. It's someone they're just questioning. So we have to be careful when we think about these things.

GREENE: You compared earlier, when we spoke on the program, Dina, this investigation and the investigation of the 1996 Olympic Games, and that explosive device. That investigation did not go all that well, in the beginning.

TEMPLE-RASTON: It didn't go well, in the beginning. You remember, there was a security officer named Richard Jewell, who they thought was behind it. In fact, he had discovered - you remember, it was a backpack bomb with pipe bombs inside, and shrapnel. He had discovered the backpack. They thought maybe he'd put it there to seem like a hero. And it took months before they finally sort of drew a bead on Eric Rudolph, and years before he was actually convicted of the crime.

GREENE: You're making that comparison to suggest that this could be a long time before we really get something definitive. People will have to be patient here.

TEMPLE-RASTON: That's what I'm hearing from my sources; that before we jump ahead and talk about people of interest, that in fact these kinds of bombings are incredibly difficult to investigate. And that is why they are taking a go-slow approach, to make sure they don't miss anything.

GREENE: All right.

TEMPLE-RASTON: What they are looking for is one threat. Just one thing that they can pull to...

GREENE: To move on from there. All right. Thanks so much, Dina.

TEMPLE-RASTON: You're welcome.

GREENE: NPR's counterterrorism correspondent, Dina Temple-Raston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

David Greene
David Greene is an award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, the most listened-to radio news program in the United States, and also of NPR's popular morning news podcast, Up First.
Dina Temple-Raston is a correspondent on NPR's Investigations team focusing on breaking news stories and national security, technology and social justice.