* Two men with backpacks captured in pictures before blasts
* Boston bombing, ricin threat, Texas fire raise anxiety
* Investigators seeking two men identified on video of bomb
* Hundreds turn out for Boston interfaith service
(Adds details about pictures of the men)
By Aaron Pressman and Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON, April 18 Investigators released pictures
of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing on Thursday,
seeking the public's help in identifying two backpack-toting men
photographed on the crowded sidewalk on Monday before bombs
exploded near the finish line.
The blasts that killed three people and wounded 176 began a
week of security scares that rattled the United States and
evoked memories of the Sept. 11, 2001 hijacked plane attacks.
"Somebody out there knows these individuals as friends,
neighbors, co-workers or family members of the suspects,"
Richard DesLauriers, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's
special agent in charge in Boston, told a news conference.
"Though it may be difficult, the nation is counting on those
with information to come forward and provide it to us," he said.
DesLauriers warned the public that the men were considered
armed and dangerous.
Both men carried backpacks that were believed to contain the
bombs. The FBI identified suspect No. 1 as a man wearing a dark
baseball cap and sunglasses. Suspect No. 2 wore a white cap
baseball cap backwards and was seen setting down his backpack on
the ground, DesLauriers said.
The FBI released a 30-second video of the two men, one
walking behind the other, that edited together three different
angles. The video appeared to have been taken from security
A picture of both men in the same frame was taken at 2:37
p.m., about 13 minutes before the two explosions tore through
the crowd that had been cheering on finishers of the race.
Investigators believe the bombs were made of pressure
cookers packed with shrapnel. Some of the wounded suffered
gruesome injuries and at least 10 people lost limbs as a result
of the blasts.
Investigators hoped the men would be identifiable within
hours of the release of the pictures and video, a national
security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Investigators were looking at the men for some period of
time before deciding to make the videos public, and they had
extensive video and still pictures to justify the FBI decision
to label the two men as suspects, the official said.
At least one other person of interest who featured in crime
scene pictures had been ruled out as a suspect. Also ruled out
earlier in the week was a Saudi student who was injured in the
attacks, the official said.
OBAMA IN BOSTON
President Barack Obama sought to bring solace to Boston and
the nation in an interfaith service at a cathedral about a mile
(1.6 km) from the bomb site, declaring "You will run again" and
vowing to catch whoever was responsible.
He promised resilience in a message directed toward Boston
but also to a country that was on edge.
A man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of mailing the
deadly poison ricin to Obama and a massive explosion at a
fertilizer factory devastated a small Texas community, sending
shockwaves at least 50 miles (80 km) away.
Obama said the country stood in solidarity with the victims
of the Boston bombs on their road to recovery.
"As you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is
with you, your commonwealth is with you, your country is with
you," Obama said. "We will all be with you as you learn to stand
and walk and, yes, run again. Of that, I have no doubt. You will
After his speech, Obama met with volunteers and Boston
Marathon organizers, many of whom cared for the injured, and
with victims at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The bombs in Boston killed an 8-year-old boy, Martin
Richard; a 29-year-old woman, Krystle Campbell; and a Boston
University graduate student and Chinese citizen, Lu Lingzi.
Before his visit, Obama declared a state of emergency in
Massachusetts, making federal funding available to the state as
it copes with the aftermath of the bombing.
(Additional reporting by Tim McLaughlin, Mark Felsenthal and
Daniel Lovering in Boston and Deborah Charles, Mark Hosenball
and Roberta Rampton in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone,
Daniel Trotta, Frances Kerry and Grant McCool)