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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Envelope To Senator Tests Positive For Poison; New Clues In Boston Marathon Bombing; Interview with Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee
Aired April 16, 2013 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: OUTFRONT next breaking news, a letter believed to contain a deadly poison has been intercepted at the U.S. capitol. Is it another terrorist attack?
Plus who set off the deadly bombs at the Boston marathon. We have new photos to show you tonight.
And a mother's grief over the loss of her daughter, a horrible story of how she was first told that her daughter was alive. Let's go OUTFRONT.
Good evening, everyone. I'm Erin Burnett. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. We do begin tonight with breaking news, a U.S. senator targeted.
An envelope that has tested positive for the deadly poison ricin was addressed to office of Senator Roger Wicker. He is a Republican from the state of Mississippi.
Chief congressional correspondent Dana Bash broke this news first here. She is on the phone from Washington. Dana, what more are you learning about this targeted attack and Senator Wicker?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Well, first off, let me give you brand information. This is actually coming Mike Brooks who got the first tip about this incident to begin with. Mike Brookes is our law enforcement analyst.
He is being told that Senator Wicker now has protective detail, meaning he has security around him, because of the fact that he received this letter, which was tested positive for the poison ricin.
Let me just go back and tell you what we learned, and that is that what happened was this envelope came addressed to Senator Wicker, it tested once positive for ricin. They tested it two more times, the second two times positive again so three times positive for ricin.
So as we speak, this envelope has been sent to a facility in suburban Washington, it's in Maryland to get yet another test on ricin. Now this is something that we learned very quickly, actually as and even before most U.S. senators learned.
They were briefed not too long ago earlier this evening from the Senate sergeant at arms and they were told that this certainly is essentially very harmful, but they were also calmed a bit by reminding them that this is the reason why they have a facility that's offsite where they sort your mail, it doesn't come directly to their offices.
BURNETT: I know it is offsite, Dana, in part because of the anthrax that was mailed to members of Congress after 9/11.
BASH: Exactly. Exactly.
BURNETT: Well, what do you know more about ricin? I mean, it can be incredibly deadly in an incredibly tiny amount, right?
BASH: That's exactly right. It can be deadly in a tiny amount, but according to the Department of Homeland Security, their website, they actually categorize this in what they called "Category B," which means it's certainly dangerous.
But it's not as dangerous as anthrax, which you just mentioned, which was then to a couple of senators back in 2001. They said it's most deadly when it is injected, but not as much when it is inhaled or people are exposed another way.
And one thing that is interesting to know is that after that anthrax attack 12 years ago now, they completely changed the whole process of how mail comes to the U.S. capitol. It's done off site.
They go through and they test things for this exact reason. So senators coming out of this briefing tonight, Erin, said they felt comfortable that this is exactly why the process works the way it does.
I remember back then in 2001, I was, many reporters and others who were around who had to take Cipro, the anti-virus Cipro just in case as a precaution. So we're not sure exactly what the people who are in the mail facility have to do.
If they are taking any precautions, that's one of the things that we're trying to dig on to see what's going on with them.
BURNETT: All right, well, Dana, thank you very much. She is continuing to dig on that part of the story. I want to go to our other breaking news story tonight. Some possible some new clues in the deadliest attack on American soil since September 11.
Photos sent by a viewer to CNN affiliate WHDH show this. We want to show you this very carefully. This is basically a before and after scene on the bomb blast at the Boston marathon. So let me show you before first.
You can see a light colored bag so when that light in the center, you can see the light color bag next to a mailbox up against the barricade along the marathon route. Now look at that for one more second so you can get a sense of your bearings.
All right, now I'm going to flip it to the second one. We have blurred this a little bit because of the graphic nature of the human beings that are in that picture at that point. But there is no bag there.
Now, these photos have been turned over to the FBI. They're looking at the pictures to determine whether that bag could have contained the second bomb. We know the point of detonation was very close to where the bag was located.
But I do want to emphasize this, because it's so uncertain, we also know that the FBI said late today that it had determined that both of the explosives for both detonations were placed in dark colored nylon bags or backpacks.
Obviously, what you see there is a light colored one. But with so many question marks and this investigation by admission of the FBI, the Boston police, the Boston mayor, the governor of Massachusetts completely wide open, any picture matters.
Drew Griffin is in Boston now. Drew, what do you know?
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: I know that Rick Deslauriers right after the news conference that I attended about 5:30 was asked specifically about the very picture that you just showed your viewers.
He said, look, we have got lots of pictures to go over. We can't rule it in. We can't rule it out. But as you said, Erin, the one thing they seem to be confident of, that they released just late this afternoon is that each of these bombs was contained inside a black nylon bag.
They were very specific about that. So was there a black nylon back inside the bag that we're seeing on the screen? We just don't know. The FBI says we don't know, but that's what they were most confident of is these black nylon bags.
BURNETT: That's an interesting theory. That it could have been inside that lighter colored one. You know, Drew, just watching, you were there. I was listening to that conference and it seemed to me that the take away was they didn't know.
You know, they had that one Saudi national that they have been questioning, the person is deemed to be not of interest, not related to this at all, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But it seems from there, there's nowhere to go. Now do they know more than what they're saying or do they really not know?
GRIFFIN: You know, based on what they said, based on experience covering these things, if they knew more than they are telling us, we would have gotten a lot less information and a lot less quite frankly, please for the public's help on this.
You've got two bombs in two separate locations in a heavily crowded area in a place that was swept for bombs twice before the event took place and they really have nothing, Erin, I hate to be so blunt, but that is the take away.
I want you to listen to what the special agent in charge side to the general public. Help us. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: The person who did this is someone's friend, neighbor, co-worker or relative. We're asking anyone who may have heard someone speak about the marathon, or the date of April 15th, in any way, that indicated that he or she may target the event to call us.
Someone knows who did this. Cooperation from the community will play a crucial role in this investigation. We asked that businesses review and preserve video surveillance, video and other business records in their original form.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GRIFFIN: It's 24 hours after this event, Erin, we don't have a possible description of a suspect, a car, a motive, anybody claiming responsibility. It really was stunning to hear and see all those law enforcement officers basically asking for the public's help in trying to solve this.
They are working hard, they're trying to piece together the bomb, the fragments, the residue, et cetera, all taken to Quantico, trying to re-enact the bomb, that's kind of standard procedure.
And there was also mentioned of the possible the pressure cooker in one of the black nylon bags, but again a possible pressure cooker was as strong as they would determine that to be -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right, Drew Griffin, thank you very much. Certainly amazing, kind of brings back to me, I remember talking to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta almost two years ago and he said his biggest fear was a lone wolf attack would be the hardest possible thing to track.
And it is possible that's what we are looking at right now. Fran Townsend joins me now, our national security analyst and former Homeland and counter security advisor to President George W. Bush along with Tom Fuentes, former FBI assistant director and CNN contributor.
Fran, what about this issue that we could be looking at a lone wolf, and as Drew just said, we don't have a possible description of this person. We don't have a motive. No one has claimed responsibility. Will we find this person?
FRAN TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, Erin, look, these are as you point out, right, the lone wolf is the hardest because you really on -- in any investigation you rely normally on communication and interaction with others as one of your first leads.
I think it's unfair to suggest that this is sort of unusual, right. They've just gotten through the crime scene exploitation. They have sent that information down to Quantico, to the FBI bomb facility. They will get a lot of important leads and information from there.
There are thousands of hours of videotape that they have to painstakingly go through. I mean, the fact that we're 24 to 36 hours out from this massive attack with all these injuries and all these fatalities, and they don't have a suspect.
You shouldn't be -- I think we have got to be careful of being critical of law enforcement and give some time to sift through the massive amounts of information they have.
BURNETT: Tom, do you agree this is something that would be -- quite natural to have to take a much longer period of time to find out who's responsible?
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Sure. I agree completely with Fran especially in a situation where no one has taken credit to even -- that helps you have a lead in the first place. So in this case where it's completely anonymous, it does make it very much different.
But Erin, I would like to get back to an earlier story the ricin, I've had a source close to the investigation that told me that all three tests for ricin did not come back positive.
That the first field test at the mail facility came back positive, the following two did not, the second test was negative and the third was inconclusive, so now they're waiting for an additional test at a more sophisticated facility in Maryland to actually be more definitive as to whether we actually have ricin.
So right now, they're not completely positive that it's ricin. The tests are not 100 percent accurate when conducted on a field level for thousands of pieces of mail that come through the facility. So really a more extensive testing is going to have to be done to make a determination that we have ricin in those envelopes.
BURNETT: Obviously, it would be a big development if true as you said. They are trying to figure that out. You know, CNN have reported they have tested positive, but as you said maybe they did not.
Do you think, though, Tom, that they would be looking at a link between this and what happened in Boston? The ricin and what happened in Boston or -- you know, because are remembering back to 9/11, that after 9/11 anthrax was sent to Washington or do you think it's coincidence?
FUENTES: Well, no. They will be looking for it to be a link, but as in the anthrax case, it was not related to 9/11, it was completely different individuals believed responsible.
So in this case, if that ricin would be a key factor in if the envelope was mailed, it's not something that was a copy cat or someone just threw this into the mail after the attack yesterday, which obviously they wouldn't be able to get it to the facility.
You have a different story, but again, it's going to determine whether or not it's positive. If it's not positive, we don't have a story and there's no link to be made.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you both very much. As we said, we're going to keep you updated on that ricin story. The more developments we get through the hour, we're going to bring them to you of course.
Still to come, what we now know about the bombs used during the terror attack. We are finding out more and about the remnants of those devices. What those remnants are and how that did provide essentially a finger print, a signature for the person responsible.
We're going to take you to Dorchester neighborhood of Boston where a candlelight vigil is being held by family and friends of the 8-year-old child, the little boy who died yesterday.
BURNETT: New clues tonight about the explosive devices that killed three and injured more than 180 at the Boston Marathon.
The FBI says the bombs were most likely made using pressure cookers filled with shards of metal, nails and perhaps ball bearings. That's something that we have heard from surgeons that we have spoken to, that they thought that there could have been ball bearings, given the injuries that they have seen.
It's believed the bombs were placed inside dark-colored duffel bags with nylon exteriors and placed near the finish line. Joe Johns is OUTFRONT with the very latest we know about the devices.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even before the dust started to settle, authorities were asking, what kind of an explosives device created this? The picture of the bombs now emerging is that they were deadly but crude. A federal law enforcement official with knowledge of the Boston bomb investigation tells CNN the bombs were hidden in bags.
RICK DESLAURIERS, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: Among items partially recovered are pieces of black nylon, which could be from a backpack and what appears to be fragments of BBs and nails possibly contained a pressure cooker device.
JOHNS (voice-over): A law enforcement source also told CNN it is likely but not certain that a timing device was used to detonate the bomb. Emergency room doctors also said they believed the bomb was meant to kill or maim as many people as possible.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A variety of sharp objects that we found in their body, probably this bomb had multiple metallic fragments in them. And we -- and we removed pellets and nails.
JOHNS (voice-over): Mike Bouchard is a former top official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. MIKE BOUCHARD, SECURITY DYNAMICS GROUP: It could be a relatively simple device, but that's all you need. Whatever they did, this was an anti-personnel device. It accomplished the mission. So you don't have to have a high-tech; you don't have to use high explosive, military explosives.
JOHNS (voice-over): The pressure cooker bomb is not new. Plans for this kind of thing are on the Internet, making tracing the bomb style to a specific group or individual more difficult.
The failed terrorist who tried to blow up Times Square in 2010 tried a variation on the idea, but it didn't work and pressure cooker- style bombs are a common form of IED used in both Afghanistan and Iraq, made famous by this English language article in an Al Qaeda terrorist magazine known as "Inspire."
PAUL CRUICKSHANK, TERRORISM ANALYST: This doesn't necessarily mean that this is jihadist or Al Qaeda inspired, but it's striking nonetheless that there are some close parallels between the description of the devices in Boston and this recipe in Al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine.
JOHNS: Important to say that authorities have not told us if they have figured out whether the Boston bombings were the result of international terrorism or if they believe this was a homegrown attack. Erin?
BURNETT: Thanks very much to you, Joe.
I want to bring in Ray Lopez, now a former member of the FBI Hazardous Office for 22 years, and Ray, get your take on this. You just heard Joe reporting that this pressure cooker type of device has been discussed in the Al Qaeda magazine and, of course, are common in IEDs in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now does this suggest to you that this could be an attack then that had some sort of foreign inspiration? Or is that not as far as you would go?
RAY LOPEZ, FORMER FBI HAZARDOUS OFFICE: Well, Erin, hello and I would say basically that the pressure cooker is just a vessel. Other people have used it in the past.
And the mere fact that it's on the Internet and in other publications to be used as an IED with some pretty detailed instructions on how to create these things, it's kind of out there. Almost anyone can pick this up, either domestically or a foreign person who wants to hurt us.
BURNETT: And obviously, they're very easy to pick that up and have no one notice, given it's a totally domestic use.
There have been at least two instances, Ray, of course, of use of pressure cooker type explosives in the United States.
One of three devices, as Joe just reported, in the May 2010 Times Square attempted bombing was a pressure cooker and Army Priv. 1st Class Naser Abdo, who was convicted of trying to bomb Ft. Hood back in 2011 also had a bunch of pressure cookers in his possession, according to the FBI.
Do you think we're going to see more devices of this type?
LOPEZ: Well, I think, over the years, you know, we have had many domestic bombings here in the United States. And one of the key features in many of those bombings is that they were pipe bombs, traditional pipe bombs, 2 to 3 inches in diameter, with their end caps, where you could screw in an end cap and put a very simple fuse onto these things.
So people became very acutely aware that these were out there, that people were using this. So in order to purchase one of these, people were running the risk of having the hardware store or the store where you purchase these, someone actually calling law enforcement, saying, hey, you know, this is very odd.
So I think terrorists or criminals have kind of adjusted and have gone to something that could do equally or more damage than the pressure cooker, which is, y, you can pick up at almost any store.
BURNETT: Right, and wouldn't stand out as unusual in any way.
I want to show you also, Ray, what we showed at the top of our program, the breaking news that we have of the before and after pictures from WHDH. This shows the -- it's a light-colored bag, as you can see, in front of the barrier there, that was leaning next to a mailbox, which obviously is extremely bizarre; again, we're looking here at the route of the marathon.
And then in the second image, which we have blurred just because of the graphic nature of it, that bag is gone. Now our Drew Griffin said, look, we know the FBI has made it clear they are looking for a dark nylon bag, but it is possible that a dark nylon bag was inside the light nylon bag, making this picture perhaps even more important to the investigation?
What -- I know you've been looking at these pictures and studying them. What do you see?
LOPEZ: Well, a couple of things stand out, one, as you mentioned earlier, was the mailbox. I think that that proximity of that light- colored bag, if the black bag which contained the IED was in it, I think there would have been significantly some more damage. It might have been tipped over, it might have been on its side. You would have seen it crushed a little bit more in the picture.
From the picture we have, really can't tell. But also it could be the synonymous with the black bag being maybe behind or a couple of feet under where the crowd was at. I'm not sure if there was a stand or a bleacher where people were sitting. And maybe the black bag was underneath there.
Again, this is all hypothetical; where it actually blew that bag forward. But it appears to me that, I would say, given the damage or the lack of damage on the green post office box on the side there, it may have been in another location.
BURNETT: All right, well, thank you very much, Ray Lopez, 22 years of experience in counterterrorism. That's his view of that crucial picture that we have been showing you tonight.
We're going the talk to the chair of the House Homeland Security Committee in just a few moments. He has been briefed again. We're going to find out the very latest that he knows about who's responsible, what the motive is, what law enforcement know at the time about the Boston bombings.
Plus you'll hear from the mother of Krystle Campbell, one of the three people killed in yesterday's bombings.
BURNETT: Breaking news: a moment of silence was just held before the start of tonight's Boston Red Sox game. It was in Cleveland. I just want to show you that moment, so you can all experience it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A moment of silence for the victims of yesterday's tragedy at the Boston Marathon, and while our teams compete on the field, we all stand as one with the people of Boston during this time of grief and pain and express our support for their healing and recovery in the days ahead.
Please join us now in a moment of silence.
Thank you all very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Still to come, what we are learning about the explosive devices used during the attack. The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Mike McCaul, has been briefed and he's going to come here on CNN live next to tell us what he knows.
Plus we go to Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, where a candlelight vigil honoring the youngest victim of the attack is about to begin.
BURNETT: We have new details on the devices that killed three people and injured at least 183 more at yesterday's Boston marathon. House Homeland Security chairman, Congressman Mike McCaul, told reporters today that it was, quote, "most likely gunpowder that was used in the devices" and Chairman McCaul joins me now. And, Chairman, I want to ask you about that detail. But, first, I want to start with the other breaking news we had tonight, which is reports of a letter containing Ricin sent to the Republican senator from Mississippi.
We've reported that that was tested multiple times that Mr. Wicker received, and tested positive three times. I'm wondering what your understanding is of that at this moment and what your understanding is of any possible link to what happened in Boston.
REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R-TX), CHAIR, HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE: It did test positive for ricin, we have no evidence whatsoever connecting the two, between the ricin incident and the Boston bombing incident. Since 9/11, since the anthrax scare, we have an offside mail facility, and it actually worked in this case, caught in an advanced screen and prevented from getting to Capitol Hill in the offices. So, the system worked.
But ricin is very targeted, almost a assassin like lethal dose. It's not intended to inflect mass casualties. The terrorists are more interested in killing, in having mass casualties so it would be inconsistent with the terrorist philosophy.
BURNETT: And what's your understanding as to why Senator Wicker, do you have any information on that at this time? And, of course, we've also reported that he has been assigned a security detail in light of this. Is that also the case?
MCCAUL: I think a security detail would be appropriate in light of the events, obviously. I think a lot of members of Congress have threats and this one is certainly one to be taken seriously. I don't have any background, I know Roger well, he's a very nice guy, I don't know why anybody would want to do this to him.
BURNETT: What can you tell us now about the device? I know that earlier today, you said that there had been, there was gunpowder perhaps inside this pressure cooker, as we understand from law enforcement officials. What else do you know right now about the devices themselves that were used at the Boston marathon?
MCCAUL: I think the important piece of evidence is that they are pressure cookers. Then, why is that important? The 2010 Times Square bomber had a variation of it. This is -- remember the IEDs are the vehicle of choice to be used by the terrorists. They have been used extensively in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
And so what's happening right now is the explosive materials found at the scene have been sent to Quantico for a forensics examination. This will be very telling in terms of clues, hopefully leading us to the terrorists. All sorts of fingerprint information with respect to the black powder, the ball bearings, the device itself, and actual fingerprints that could be on these materials as well.
So it's almost like a book of information will come out of this forensics examination and it should come out hopefully for the next 24 hours. And I think that's going to greatly enhance the investigation in the Joint Terrorism Task Force to apprehend these terrorists and bring them to justice.
BURNETT: And I guess that timeline, that 24 hours, is a crucial metric. You know, I was saying earlier, I remember when Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told me his greatest fear for the United States was a lone wolf attack because it would be impossible to pick up beforehand and perhaps then impossible to identify it afterwards. And some have said, look, this could be that kind of situation.
Are you concerned because there's no suspect? Last night we talked, you know, you said they had someone they were questioning. It appears that person now is not a person of interest.
What can you tell us about who they're looking at right now and your fears of perhaps never finding the person?
MCCAUL: Of course it's a huge concern. Usually within the first four hours, that's your best opportunity to apprehend the criminal, in this case, a terrorist. I do think the video they have from the scene will help facilitate the appearance of the individual who dropped this backpack into the trash cans. And also I think the explosive forensics that's going to be done I think will give us a lot of information to move this information forward.
But like you, I am concerned and the lone wolf homegrown terrorist is probably the most difficult to prevent and most difficult to apprehend after the fact, because they're operating virtually alone and not within a circle or network of a terrorism organization.
BURNETT: And, Chairman, a final question. We talked about this last night and it still remains at the epicenter of the investigation and that is, was it a foreign, someone from outside the United States or was it an American who was the perpetrator of this attack? Obviously, we have reported that pressure cookers were used in al Qaeda inspired acts and, of course, also you can see how you can use them in the al Qaeda magazine. But they have also been common in other sorts of attacks.
So, does that lead you down a path of foreign or domestic? Have you had any indications as to which it will be?
MCCAUL: I think the jury's still out, whether it's a foreign or terrorist-related attack. You know, one possibility that's not mentioned is that it could be foreign inspired, like the "Inspire" magazine that al Awlaki put out that actually shows you how to make these bombs in your mother's kitchen essentially.
The idea that it could be inspired like a General (sic) Hasan out there, at Fort Hood, homegrown terrorist, it could be inspired by the foreign inspiration and then pulled off by a homegrown in the United States. That's one possibility.
We really don't know, though. The evidence is not there yet. The jury is still out. We really won't know until this forensics comes back from the examination of the bombing device and until the perpetrators are actually apprehended.
BURNETT: All right. Chairman McCaul, good to talk to you again, sir. And thank you for the time tonight.
Well, also tonight, a Boston family is reeling after learning that one of their loved ones died in the bombings. Krystle Campbell was 29 years old. She was a restaurant manager described as generous and vivacious. Initially, her parents were told that she had survived but it was a case of mistaken identity.
Jason Carroll is OUTFRONT with her story tonight.
And, Jason, you heard from her mother who just came out to talk to reporters, it was heart breaking to watch that.
JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it was terrible, she was so overcome by grief, Erin, she could barely speak. And you can imagine the rollercoaster of emotion this is family has been through.
Let me just explain what happened with Krystle Campbell.
She went to the marathon with her friend, they showed up, they got caught in the first explosion and initially, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital told the Campbell family that Krystle had survived, that Krystle Campbell had survived, they were working on her to save her leg. Her parents waited patiently. They were finally let into the room and they looked down and discovered it was not in fact their daughter. It was their daughter's friend.
And at that point, they waited to find out what had in fact had happened to Krystle Campbell. About an hour after that, Erin, a detective came in and showed them a picture and it was at that point they discovered their daughter had not survived.
A little earlier today, just -- you know, her mother came out, she tried to speak to reporters, it was very difficult for her. I just want you to listen to how she tried to speak about her daughter.
(BEGIN VIODEO CLIP)
PATTY CAMPBELL, MOTHER OF KRYSTLE CAMPBELL: We are heart broken at the death of our daughter Krystle. She was a wonderful person. Everybody that knew her loves her. She loved her dogs, she used to (INAUDIBLE). She was always smiling, you couldn't ask for a better daughter.
I can't believe this has happened. She was such a hard worker in everything she did. This just doesn't make any sense.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
REPORTER: What kind of daughter was she, ma'am?
CAMPBELL: She was the best, you couldn't ask for a better daughter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: The grief of that family, Jason, just horrible to see.
What is Massachusetts General saying about this and how this confusion happened?
CARROLL: Well, we have called them several times, Erin, at one point, I did get a spokesperson on the phone and basically what she said is they are learning about this just as much as the media is. In fact they said they learned about this alleged mistake this afternoon. They said they were still trying to get information about exactly how this all could have happened.
They said they are in the process of trying to put together a statement. We are still waiting for that statement. But as you can imagine, this whole terrible, terrible mix-up has just compounded the grief for this family.
BURNETT: Yes. Just horrible, thank you very much, Jason.
Well, there's a candle light vigil happening right now in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston where family and neighbors are gathering to -- well, celebrate, to acknowledge the youngest victims of yesterday's bombings, an 8-year-old, Martin Richard. The little boy was killed near the finish line. He was watching the marathon with his family. His mother and 6-year-old sister were also injured by the blast.
Gary Tuchman is at the vigil today in Garvey Park.
Gary, that story just every time you see that little boy's face, it's horrible.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it really is. It's very hard when you're dealing with tragedy like the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, where certainly children were killed, you remember that forever. That happened 18 years ago, and I still think of that every time after covering that. I know I will still think of this tragedy every day of this 8-year-old who died. And now, we know of two other people who died, too.
This candle light vigil you're talking about, Erin, this is really impressive. It just started out. You can see all the candles in the background. This was word of mouth, this gathering. Six hours ago, this didn't exist, there's perhaps 1,200 people in this park in Dorchester remembering the three people who perished in this tragedy just about 30 hours ago.
And we are only a few blocks away from the home of Martin Richard, a little 8-year-old boy who died. What's so sad is that as we speak, his sister is lot in the hospital. His younger sister is a dancer and she lost one of her legs in the blast and another one of her legs might have to be amputated. Also, his mother's in the hospital. His other brother is OK, the father's OK, but one can only imagine what it's like right now Erin for this father and this brother who are not only dealing with the loss of their son, their 8-year-old son who was such a nice boy, as everyone tells us, but also worrying so much about his wife and his little daughter still in the hospital as we speak.
BURNETT: Gary, it just seems, you know, the unfairness and the horror of this -- you talk about a sister, a dancer, who lost her leg and as you said, fighting for her second leg tonight. I know that his mother also suffered a brain injury, right? I mean, this is -- it's an unbelievable tragedy for so many in one family.
TUCHMAN: Right, it is. And this father is a very brave man. He actually came up with a written statement he gave us. I want to read it to you because it's so poignant and important.
He talked about his child. He said, "My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston." And he added this, he says, "My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends and those we have never met for their thought and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for our family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover."
And we will certainly give our patience and privacy as we grieve for this family and all the other people here in Boston who are suffering so much after this horrifying and horrible day yesterday in this city -- Erin.
BURNETT: Gary, thank you.
And we're going to talk about what forensic experts are looking for in those videos and photographs. You know that today, law enforcement officials say if you were there, if you have any picture, they need it. What are they looking for in these pictures? We're going to tell you exactly and show you that after this.
BURNETT: Who planted the bombs at the Boston marathon and when did they do it? That is the crucial question that authorities are trying to answer tonight. They don't have a suspect yet and they don't have a motive.
Boston police commissioner Ed Davis says two bomb sweeps were done prior to the explosions and didn't detective anything unusual.
Tom Foreman has more on the crucial window of time that could be a key to solving this case.
And, Tom, what are investigators zeroing in right now if you had to say the time and the space?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, they're really focusing on three hours right around the end of the course. Let me bring in the course and talk about what we mean right now. There was a final security sweep done along the coast one hour before the elite runners finished. So, they went along the course and they cleared it here one hour before the top runners came in, then two hours after that, that's when this started happening.
Overall, we have a total of three hours of period of time here that there was the first blast near the finish line and then a short distance of, we had the second blast 12 seconds later.
So, let me rotate the map around, so you can look right down the racecourse here. And I'll talk about what they're looking at. One of the things they are focusing on is this side of the racecourse. Erin, this path down the middle here is very hard to cross in a big, big race like this.
So in all likelihood, wherever the bomber or bombers came from, it was likely on this side of the path and they weren't able to cross. That's why both bombs were on the same side. So bar they looking for anybody who saw anything, and really saw something that matters.
For example this picture is exacting a lot of attention, because of that package sitting alongside the fence right there. That's near the site of one of the blasts.
The question would be from investigators, did anybody photograph something? Did any security cameras pick up someone carrying that package, or another package that fits the description that they're at here. That's what they want, Erin. And they are saying there is a difference between a witness, and somebody who just heard something.
They want to hear from everyone, but the real grail here, the thing they're after is someone who can say, yes, on this street or standing alongside here, I saw a person and they did this and that specifically could be connected -- Erin.
BURNETT: Tom, let me ask you about something else that's unique about this kind of an event. A marathon, which, you know, in the modern era, everybody who is running wears a tracker that wirelessly transmits exactly every millisecond of where they are on the actual marathon route.
Is that important?
FOREMAN: Yes, it is important, in fact, because when you run. In the big races these days, you wear a timing chip of some sort. Every time you pass over these tracking mats, it will tell the race organizers where you are. It's just for running the race.
Why does that matter? Will these runners coming in here being tracked electronically be able to say they saw something? Probably not. But you know what they can tell investigators, they can tell investigators where their family and friends were.
So if investigators say we have a witness down here who saw a guy with a black bag and we have a witness down here who saw a guy with a black bag, this is almost unheard of tool. They can then go through the runner data base and say to the runners, were you family and friends in between here? How can we reach out to them and ask them if they saw it?
Normally in a big event like this, all the witnesses have been dispersed and the police at their mercy whether or not they come back in.
In this case, they know how to reach out and get to them. That could be a huge benefit to this process, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Tom Foreman, thank you very much. And as Tom talking about every second and every single, you know, snapshot of every moment matters here, investigators at the highest level of the U.S. government are going through mounds of evidence. They're looking at hundreds of thousands of photos, hours and hours of video, trying to find that one incident that might make a break in this case.
Authorities say with massive crowds gathered near the finish line on Monday, there's a strong possibility someone photographed someone or something before the deadly explosions. But with so much media in a sense it makes it harder. Is it looking for a needle in a hay stack?
OUTFRONT tonight, Lawrence Kobilinsky. He is a forensic scientist from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
And, Lawrence, thank you for taking the time.
I wanted to show you a few of the pictures we now know law enforcement are looking at carefully and just get your view on these.
LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, JOHN JAY COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Sure.
BURNETT: First, what we've been showing our viewers tonight, this before and after snapshot from WHDH basically showing, as you can see, before there's a nylon light colored bag next to a mailbox and then after it's gone, the picture we have blurred there because of the graphic human nature of the content.
When you look at that picture, what do you see?
KOBILINSKY: Well, I think we already know the seat of the explosion. It becomes very important to try to focus in on the exact spot and how the bomb was delivered, how is it disguised? How is it dropped? Where was it dropped? And then, ultimately, to find who dropped it.
But looking at these kinds of photos help us focus our attention on that particular area near that mailbox. That's a critical area.
BURNETT: Right. Because I'm saying as a layperson, why is there a mailbox there? I mean, right? That's fair question.
KOBILINSKY: U.S. Postal Service probably put it there. I don't know. BURNETT: Right.
KOBILINSKY: But clearly it's important in this particular situation.
BURNETT: Let me take a look at this bag from another angle, another shot we have. You can take a look. This is from earlier in the race.
The men's first place finisher is just -- this is a different angle. A policeman it looks like back there to our eyes blocking the actual mailbox. But a forensic expert, if you had a lot more time, magnify glasses, all the things you would do, would you be able to determine if it's suspicious?
KOBILINSKY: It's hard to answer that, but there are methods available to forensic scientists to do enhancement of photographs.
BURNETT: How do they do that?
KOBILINSKY: And try to take out images and leave in important images, contrast enhancement devices, high resolution.
KOBILINSKY: It can be done to a certain extent.
BURNETT: All right. Let me ask you about another shot. This is a shot of the crowd near the finish line and what I wanted to ask you about in this, people will be able to see. Faces are recognizable in this.
Can investigators use biometrics? Basically a way to identify individuals. Here the faces are clearly visible, but in many shots they may not be to the average eye. Would you be able to identify somebody from all the thousands of crowd shots that are going to be out there?
KOBILINSKY: Well, the technology has certainly been developed to do facial recognition. Looking at certain points on the face and then comparing it to a data base. We use that at airports. So that is feasible.
But this is only a tiny piece of the puzzle with all kinds of surveillance videos in that area. This is a large crime scene. And clearly we're focused on two very, very specific areas. So those videos become extremely important.
BURNETT: All right. Well, Lawrence, thank you very much for taking the time. Just giving all our viewers a little bit of a sense of what's going on right now going through picture by picture.
And I do want to give you the latest breaking news we have. The Chinese consulate has confirmed to CNN that a Chinese national is the third person killed in the Boston marathon blast. At this point, no name has formally been released. We could tell you now that we know the identity of the third person killed in the bombing terror attack yesterday was a Chinese national.
We're going to be right back.
BURNETT: And as we leave you tonight, we want to remind you about those who died yesterday, to remember who they are.
Take a look at 8-year-old Martin Richard of the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston. That little boy's picture and his face will be emblazoned in all of our minds. A very sweet boy. His mother and sister were two of the people critically wounded in the attack.
And there was 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, a restaurant manager. You heard her mother earlier really unable to even speak. She was so broken by grief in losing her daughter -- caring, loving, daddy's little girl. You look at her and realize that person was alive going into a normal day expecting nothing but celebration. And then this happened.
And now there's a third victim, Boston university graduate student, someone from China, we don't know her name. The family has requested that it not be released at this point.
Those three people all lost their lives in the course of what they thought was a regular, perhaps special day in their lives. They were people, Americans, someone from China, with friends and families who loved them and will miss them for the rest of their lives.
Tonight, we remember and honor that. See you back here at 11:00, our live team coverage of the bombing at the Boston marathon continues now with Anderson Cooper -- Anderson.