(BOSTON) — Law enforcement and Congressional sources told ABC News on Tuesday there is a leading theory that at least one of the bombs that exploded during the Boston Marathon Monday may have been packed into a pressure cooker, a tactic found in rudimentary bomb-making instructions widely available online.
Earlier Tuesday doctors caring for the 170-plus victims of the deadly bombing reported they have been pulling nails or nail-like objects from those struck by the twin explosions — likely shrapnel from inside the bombs.
A spokesperson for Brigham and Women’s Hospital, another medical center caring for the wounded, reported similar injuries, apparently caused by carpenter nails and small ball bearings.
Three people were killed and more than 170 others were injured, 17 of them critically, in a pair of explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon.
And though the injuries suffered by dozens are gruesome, the details could provide much needed clues about the make-up of the bomb — a high priority for investigators who have yet to identify a suspect.
Earlier, law enforcement officials held their own press conference where they revealed that the marathon route had been swept twice by bomb detection units and declared clear. “[But] people can come and go and bring items in and out” after the races started, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said.
ATF special agent in charge Gene Marquez also said the only devices involved in the bombing were the two that detonated and there were no additional threats.
Davis and several other local and federal officials implored the public to provide any evidence, including pictures, videos or observations, they may have to the authorities by calling the FBI Tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI. FBI special agent in charge Richard DesLauriers said investigators had already received “voluminous” tips and were “logically” following up on leads.
Late Monday a tip about possible explosives led federal agents to search an apartment on the fifth floor of a building in the Boston suburb of Revere, but agents later told residents there was nothing to worry about. The quick and overwhelming law enforcement response underscored the urgency of the FBI’s effort to track and stop the people responsible.
Monday FBI agents also went to a local hospital to question a 20-year-old Saudi college student who was injured in the blast, but authorities stressed that he is not considered a suspect.
Experts said the most important clues could come from several videos from the race that caught the blasts in real time as well as the explosions themselves.
Authorities said the white smoke seen shortly after one of the detonations indicates small bombs with a simple, low-velocity, explosive mixture — not military grade.
Experts also pointed to large pieces of metal, seen flying through the air in one of the videos, which suggests the bomb may have been concealed in a mail box or trash barrel. However police said Tuesday there’s no hard evidence they were hidden in trash cans.
The limited damage to nearby buildings told experts the bomb may have failed to fully function as designed.
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