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In Boston Marathon bombings, spectators' pictures could hold crucial clues

Investigators into the Boston Marathon bombings note that hundreds of spectators were taking pictures and videos at the time, and surveillance and network cameras were rolling, too. They hope one of those images could help crack the case.

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Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley described the bombing as an “act of cowardice” that “cannot be justified or explained. It can only be answered.”

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Elected leaders, from President Obama to Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, also emphasized the goodness that has emerged in the wake of Monday’s attack, as people in Boston and beyond responded with courage and love.

“What the world saw yesterday … were stories of heroism and kindness,” Mr. Obama said, citing examples of people who ran toward the bomb victims to help save lives, or who took distraught spectators into their homes.

The investigation, by the FBI and other federal agencies on the Joint Terrorism Task Force, so far has no one in custody.

Officials said that, contrary to some news reports Monday, only two known explosives had been discovered – the two that detonated seconds apart along the race course. No other bombs had been found in subsequent searching.

Commissioner Davis said there would be an expanded Boston Police presence for some time, but not because of any known threat to the public.

“We want you to live your life,” he told Boston residents. He encouraged them to “come and go” as usual, except for a 12-block crime scene that will shrink in coming days.

Of 176 people who were admitted to local hospitals because of explosion-related injuries, Davis said 17 were in “critical” condition.

The head of trauma care at Massachusetts General Hospital, George Velmahos, described the patients there as “stabilized” and expressed hope that all will survive.

Doctors said the bomb wounds included shrapnel from metal fragments apparently included in the bombs – pellets or nail-like objects that, in their number and consistency, differed from random objects propelled by the explosion, such as metal from a garbage can.

The Associated Press, citing an unidentified person briefed on the investigation, is reporting that the bombs were pressure cookers filled with metal. Explosive devices made using pressure cookers have been used in acts of terrorism in other countries, including Afghanistan.

Boston Police say that anyone with information, tips, or photos should dial 800-CALLFBI.


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Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

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