The Norman Transcript

Nation/World

April 22, 2013

Five days of fear: Examining the Boston bombing

(Continued)

BOSTON —

Only then did he notice the man’s face, dripping with blood.

n n n

Now, three days after the bombing, investigators had made significant headway in deciphering the method behind the terror.

Armies of white-suited agents had spent many hours sifting through the evidence littering Boylston Street, climbing to nearby rooftops to make sure no clue would go overlooked. Their efforts revealed that the bombers had constructed crudely assembled weapons, using plans easily found on the Internet, from pressure cookers, wires and batteries popular at hobby shops. But investigators still did not know why. And, more importantly, they had only the haziest idea of whom to hold responsible.

It all came down to the photos, culled after a painstaking search of hundreds of hours of videotape and photographs gathered from surveillance cameras and spectators. But if they were unable to identify the men, that left the investigators with a difficult choice: They could keep them to law enforcement officers who so far had had no luck, prolonging the search and risking letting the men slip away or attack again. Or they could ask the public for help. But then, the suspects would know the net was closing in.

When they decided to release them, it would only put Bostonians further on edge.

“There was this kind of strange tension,” said Brian Walker of Boston. “You walk by people and you just kind of look at them out of the corner of your eye and check them out. I was conscious that I didn’t feel comfortable walking around with a backpack. It was like I just want to be safe here and everybody is kind of jumpy.”

But as investigators pored over tips in the hours before the photos were made public, the city, at least, was struggling to right itself.

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