BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - When an attack as extreme as the Boston Marathon occurs, there's so many unanswered questions that are left in the hands of law enforcement to find answers to. A former FBI leader gave his expert insight about the developing situation.
Once it became apparent that the explosions at the Boston Marathon were not an accident, investigators faced a daunting task.
In a crowd of thousands of people, they needed to single out who exactly planted the bombs.
Bernard Tolbert, former head of the Buffalo FBI said investigators start by analyzing the physical evidence. "You look at the forensics. If you've got pieces- fragments of the bomb, you've got some of the remnants of the blast. You can start to look at that, and that'll help you piece some of it together."
In this case, the crude construction of the bombs which included nails, shrapnel and pressure cookers in backpacks, instantly told Tolbert something about the suspects. "My first thought is that it probably wasn't an al-Qaeda type organization, because I would think they would go for something more spectacular."
Photos and videos captured by surveillance cameras and cell phones seemed to back up that theory. Agents and behavioral analysts singled out two young men as possible suspects, based on their mannerisms and reactions to the bombs going off.
"The expected reaction is that everyone's going to be startled; there'll be some looks of amazement. If you see someone who is not paying that kind of attention, not having that kind of reaction, seems to just ignore it-that's a clue," Tolbert said.
Releasing those photographs Tolbert believes, was a smart decision by the FBI. "It certainly helped the FBI and law enforcement to zero in on who they were looking for."
He applauds both the police and citizens, for how they conducted themselves after the shooting at MIT, during the day-long lockdown and manhunt in Watertown.
It's a case, Tolbert says, where everything was done right. "They recognize that there's a threat to the public safety, and that's what law enforcement is there for. ...This is a perfect example [of] how they do it well."
The manhunt is over now, but Tolbert said the investigation is only beginning.
Agents' top priority now will be interrogating the surviving suspect. They'll want to know why the brothers did this and will try to learn as much information as they can from this incident.
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