In Boston Marathon bombing case, significant progress and mass confusion

Media reports suggest that a surveillance camera at a store near the Boston Marathon finish line might have caught a glimpse of the bomber. But reports that he was already in custody were refuted by law enforcement.

Elise Amendola/AP
Two men in hazardous materials suits put numbers on the shattered glass and debris as they investigate the scene at the first bombing on Boylston Street in Boston Tuesday near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.

The investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings took major strides forward Wednesday, but the day was also marked by confusion, as TV news outlets first said a suspect was in custody and then had to back off that claim.

The positive news is that federal and Boston-area law enforcement sources are saying that significant progress has been made toward identifying a suspect in Monday’s twin bombings, according to various sources including CNN and The Boston Globe.

Video from surveillance cameras at the department store Lord & Taylor, near the bomb blasts at the marathon finish line, appear to have played a central role in the progress, identifying the face of a suspect or person of interest in the case.

"The camera from Lord & Taylor is the best source of video so far,” said Dot Joyce, a spokeswoman for Mayor Thomas Menino, according to The Boston Globe's website. “All I know is that they are making progress.”

What’s less clear is whether a specific individual has been identified by name, or how close officials are to taking anyone into custody or making an arrest.

Early Wednesday afternoon, CNN began reporting that an arrest had been made.

But less than an hour later, before 3 p.m., the network was retracting that claim. It quoted both Obama administration and local sources saying reports of an arrest were untrue.

“Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack,” the Boston Police Department said on Twitter.

A press briefing is scheduled for later in the afternoon.

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