Law enforcement officials have confirmed that there were two explosions on Monday along Boylston Street in Boston near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, and a third at the JFK Library. Beyond that, the investigation is ongoing, and the number of casualties and identity of a potential suspect are not confirmed.
The explosions, which Boston police said on Monday afternoon had injured 28 and killed 2, took place in the Copley Square area in central Boston. The Boston police commissioner confirmed a third explosion at the John F. Kennedy Library this afternoon, while saying that authorities aren’t sure if the incidents are related.
“We don’t have the exact number of casualties at this moment in time,” Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said in a press conference on Monday. The Boston Globe reported Monday afternoon that the number of injured has risen to 64.
As of 5 p.m. on Monday, there is no confirmed suspect or motive. The Boston Police Department has surveillance video of someone bringing more than one backpack into the area before the explosions, according to CBS News. The New York Post reported that a suspect is being kept under guard at a hospital in Boston (the Post is also reporting that 12 have been killed, making that newspaper the only media outlet to carry that number.) The Post reports that the suspect being kept under guard is a Saudi national, which is unconfirmed.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was on the scene in Copley looking for explosives, according to reports, and the bombs were reportedly placed in trash cans. An ATF spokesperson didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security have been in contact with local agencies and are participating in the investigation. The Boston Police Commissioner said during the press conference that he has been in contact with the FBI.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been briefed, officials said. “The Secretary has been notified of the incident in Boston,” a DHS official told BuzzFeed. “At her direction, DHS is in contact with state and local authorities and will provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response.”
Update: NBC News is reporting that a wounded man is being “guarded” at a Boston hospital as a possible suspect. (6:12 p.m.)
Update: A White House official called the Boston explosions an “act of terror” in an email on Monday.
“Any event with multiple explosive devices - as this appears to be - is clearly an act of terror, and will be approached as an act of terror. However, we don’t yet know who carried out this attack, and a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned and carried out by a terrorist group, foreign or domestic,” the official said. (6:40 p.m.)
Update: CBS News is also reporting that a Saudi national is being questioned: “He was seen ‘acting suspiciously’ running from the explosion and a civilian chased him down and tackled him. He was turned over to Boston Police and is being questioned by FBI. He is being cooperative and denies any involvement.” (7:31 p.m.)
Update: The Boston Globe reports that a “person of interest” is being questioned:
BREAKING NEWS: Authorities questioning person of interest in Marathon bombings at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.— The Boston Globe
A multi-agency response including state and federal law enforcement agencies has been activated and is investigating the cause of the explosions along the Boston Marathon route and elsewhere. The FBI’s Boston Division stands with the Boston Police Department and remains on-scene. The FBI is offering its assistance in whatever capacity BPD requires. The situation remains fluid and it remains too early to establish the cause and motivation.
The FBI has set-up 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), prompt #3, for anyone who has information, visual images, and/or details regarding the explosions along the Boston Marathon route and elsewhere. No piece of information or detail is too small.
Update: The Boston Police Department announced in a press conference on Monday that three people have died from the Boston explosions. The FBI is taking over the investigation, authorities said. (8:55 p.m.)