BOSTON (AP) — The painstaking work to identify a bombing suspect from reams of Boston Marathon footage yielded a possible breakthrough as investigators focused on a man seen dropping off a bag, and then walking away from the site of the second of two deadly explosions.
The discovery of the image — found on surveillance footage from a department store near the finish line — was detailed by a city politician two days after the attack that left three people dead, wounded more than 170, and cast a dark shadow over one of this city's most joyous traditions. The footage hasn't been made public.
At an interfaith service honoring the victims Thursday, President Barack Obama said "there is a piece of Boston in me" as he paid tribute to the city shaken by what he has called an act of terror.
"Every one of us stands with you," he said, declaring later: "You will run again!"
President Barack Obama attended Thursday in Boston, and closed his eyes at times while listening to speakers. There was a heavy police presence around the city's main Roman Catholic cathedral as residents lined up before dawn, hoping to get one of the roughly 2,000 seats inside. By 9 a.m., they were being turned away.
Streets were blocked off around the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston's South End.
Among the hundreds in line was 18-year-old Eli Philips. The college student was a Marathon volunteer and was wearing his volunteer jacket on Thursday morning.
He said he was still shocked that "something that was euphoric went so bad."
Ricky Hall, 67, of Cambridge, showed up at 8 a.m. but was turned away from the line to get inside that was already stretching down at least two city blocks, so decided just to stay outside.
"I came to pay my respects to the victims," he said, but was also angry that someone would desecrate the marathon and urged maximum punishment for the perpetrators.
Without providing details of the men's appearance or what the video shows, Napolitano told the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday that "there is some video that raised the question" of individuals the FBI would like to interview. She said the investigation is continuing "apace."
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said he shared the frustration that the person or people responsible were still at large, but he said solving the case will not "happen by magic."
"It's going to happen by doing the careful work that must be done in a thorough investigation," Patrick said. "That means going through the couple of blocks at the blast scene square inch by square inch and picking up pieces of evidence and following those trails, and that's going to take some time."
The bombs were crudely fashioned from ordinary kitchen pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails and ball bearings, investigators and others close to the case said. Investigators suspect the devices were then hidden in black duffel bags and left on the ground.
As a result, they were looking for images of someone lugging a dark, heavy bag. Investigators had appealed to the public to provide videos and photographs from the race finish line.
City Council President Stephen Murphy, who said he was briefed by Boston police, said investigators saw the image of the man dropping off a bag and matched the findings with witness descriptions of someone leaving the scene.
One department store video "has confirmed that a suspect is seen dropping a bag near the point of the second explosion and heading off," Murphy said.
Separately, a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity confirmed only that investigators had an image of a potential suspect whose name was not known to them and who had not been questioned.
Several media outlets reported that a suspect had been identified from surveillance video taken at a Lord & Taylor department store between the sites of the bomb blasts.