WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — President Barack Obama is calling the Boston Marathon bombings an “act of terrorism.”
“This was a heinous and cowardly act and given what we now know … the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism,” Obama said.
Three people were killed, including an 8-year-old boy, and more than 170 others injured in two explosions that took place seconds apart near the finish line Monday afternoon.
The president says it is yet unknown whether this is an act carried out by one individual or a foreign or domestic terror group.
“We don’t have a sense of motive yet,” Obama said.
Obama said they will find “whoever harmed our citizens” and bring them to justice.
“The American people refuse to be terrorized,” Obama said.
Investigators appealed to the public Tuesday for amateur video and photos that might yield clues to the Boston Marathon bombing as the chief FBI agent in Boston vowed to find whoever carried out the deadly attack.
“We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice,” said Richard DesLauriers, FBI agent in charge in Boston.
He said investigators had received “voluminous tips” and were interviewing witnesses and analyzing the crime scene.
Gov. Deval Patrick said that contrary to earlier reports, no unexploded bombs were found. He said the only explosives were the ones that went off.
FBI agents searched a home in the suburb of Revere overnight. Authorities gave no details. But investigators were seen leaving a building there early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag.
At a news conference, police and federal agents repeatedly appealed for any video, audio and photos taken by marathon spectators, even images that people might not think are significant.
“There has to be hundreds, if not thousands, of photos and videos” that might help investigators, state police Col. Timothy Alben said.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said investigators also gathered a large number of surveillance tapes from businesses in the area and intend to go through the video frame by frame.
“This is probably one of the most photographed areas in the country yesterday,” he said.
Investigators refused to give any specifics on the bombs and say, for example, where they might have been hidden or whether they were packed with shrapnel for maximum carnage, as is often the case in terror bombings overseas.
But Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said he saw an X-ray of one victim’s leg that had “what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it — similar in the appearance to BBs.”
The fiery explosions took place about 10 seconds and about 100 yards apart, knocking spectators and at least one runner off their feet, shattering windows and sending columns of smoke rising over the street.
Roupen Bastajian, a state trooper from Smithfield, R.I., had just finished the race when he heard the explosions.
“I started running toward the blast. And there were people all over the floor,” he said. “We started grabbing tourniquets and started tying legs. A lot of people amputated. … At least 25 to 30 people have at least one leg missing, or an ankle missing, or two legs missing.”
At least 17 people were critically injured, police said. At least eight children were being treated at hospitals. In addition to losing limbs, victims suffered broken bones, shrapnel wounds and ruptured eardrums.
At Massachusetts General Hospital, Alasdair Conn, chief of emergency services, said: “This is something I’ve never seen in my 25 years here … this amount of carnage in the civilian population. This is what we expect from war.”
Eight-year-old Martin Richard was among the dead, said U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a family friend. The boy’s mother, Denise, and 6-year-old sister, Jane, were badly injured. CBS News York reports Richard’s sister lost her leg in the bombings. His brother and father were also watching the race but were not hurt.
A candle burned on the stoop of the family’s single-family home in the city’s Dorchester section Tuesday, and the word “Peace” was written in chalk on the front walk.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)