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THE SITUATION ROOM
Boston Bombing Investigation Continues
Aired April 17, 2013 - 18:10 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. So we're going to continue to watch what's going on. I want to go to Fran Townsend, Tom Fuentes, our law enforcement analysts, to get a little bit better sense of what we just heard.
Fran, give us your thoughts on what we just heard from Governor Deval Patrick?
FRANCES TOWNSEND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTOR: Wolf, the governor I think is out there trying to assure the people that investigation is moving along and he has confidence it will come to a conclusion and people will be brought to justice.
It's what you expect the governor to do, to show leadership and to reassure people. Interesting he didn't acknowledge -- the special agent in charge in Boston acknowledged the recovery of the pressure cooker. We talked about that this morning, the lid, and there are pictures now out about the forensics. We know law enforcement has gone through these videotapes and are focused on particular individuals.
They have gotten a lot of investigative work done today. And they are much closer. It was interesting to me, Wolf, he didn't really want to acknowledge all of the investigative progress that's been made, other than to say they's encouraged by it and it will take time.
Look, they want to build themselves space to complete this thing on their own time frame. I do think it's interesting that he doesn't think there's going to be a press conference today, as you reported, Wolf. It's been pushed back, it's been delayed. We don't know if it's going to happen. You know, you don't really understand why. There's a lot of coordination that needs to take place before they can have it. It seems like they're having a problem with that.
BLITZER: Yes. Obviously the governor suggesting there's not going to be an FBI news conference. If it happens, it happens. But right now he doesn't think it will.
Tom Fuentes, give us your thoughts. What did you come out of that interview with Governor Deval Patrick thinking?
TOM FUENTES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I agree with Fran. I think he's trying to reassure the public even though he didn't even concur with all the details already publicly provided in the investigation.
So he's doing his job, as the governor, to tell the people that everything's being done that can be. I think with regard to the press conference, you really -- having been in that situation of deciding when to go on and what to say and all the people that will be at the podium, you have competing interests here.
You have on the one hand the need to inform the public and tell them and reassure the public that the investigative agencies are working together and covering every lead and again requesting the public's assistance. But you have the competition of, you need to solve the case.
And when that special agent in charge, or the police commissioner and the others walk in front of the microphones, they know in their mind that the bad guy, or bad guys are probably watching that press conference, listening to what they say, and they have to be very careful of what they put out to not reveal the specific strategy of what they're doing at the moment and how much they have or don't have.
You do have the possibility of conflicting information always being produced in a situation like this, as to whether they have a specific subject or whether he's been identified or whether they haven't. And oftentimes, even if a subject is identified, even if that's all been true and somebody puts out some information along those lines, they may not want that to be public because they may be following that person secretly, hoping that that leads to others, or at least whether to rule out that there were other co-conspirators that are involved in this, and need to be located and also apprehended.
They don't want to get one person only to have 10 others scatter away, if it's a larger conspiracy. And they also are trying to resolve it if it is not, if it is the so-called lone wolf, or two lone wolves who banded together, that they get the whole conspiracy at the time they can do it, and not drive the others away and turn them into fugitives that are harder to locate later, and also to determine whether there are other attacks in the planning, maybe other places in the country, if it's a larger-scale conspiracy. That's always an issue as well. Is this the only place that was scheduled to be attacked?
BLITZER: Tom, hold on for a moment. Fran, hold on.
John King is here as well.
Clearly, the governor said they're all cooperating, the state, local, federal law enforcement. And they presumably are, and the FBI is the lead organization in charge of this investigation. But there clearly is some confusion amongst some of these sources about what's going on, even though the governor seemed to suggest that there wasn't.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think in the sense of cooperating in the investigation, sharing information, making sure if one agency comes into possession of some information, a photograph, maybe something forensic recovered at the scene, I think there's no doubt and there's no question at all there's been very good cooperation.
You have got federal officials, state officials and city officials each and all praising each other. As the governor noted, that's not always the case. We have had no indications there's any command-and- control and coordination and sharing issues at all here.
There has certainly today been consternation about some leaks. Several news organizations including ours and including me saying we had been told by sources about a possible arrest being made, an operation under way leading to an arrest, specific identification of a suspect.
I do know from following back on sources there's some consternation, and the agencies talking to each about who's leaking, why would they be leaking, let's pull back. We're waiting to see if we get a public briefing. The governor now seems to think we may not get one at all today.
They're saying that's because the courthouse was briefly evacuated. If they wanted to have a public briefing, the courthouse is now secured. They could do it in other locations. Is that the only reason? Are they trying to get their ducks in order in the investigation? I don't know.
There's one thing I do want to share. This morning when we were told there was a breakthrough in the investigation and we were told that it was the key to the breakthrough was the Lord & Taylor department store video, I learned some of that information just before I sat down with a conversation with the Boston mayor, Tom Menino.
The governor was very careful, he didn't want to say anything. The mayor was quite careful. But I think we have the mayor here and he did say a little bit more about why he was optimistic they were making progress.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS MENINO (D), MAYOR OF BOSTON: They more videos on this one than any case the FBI ever had, especially across from Lord & Taylor, where the bombing, the second bombing happened.
They have a direct camera right on the location. And that's part of the work, I believe, that's going on with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. I will tell you, honestly, that I have never seen so many law enforcement agencies work so well together on an investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You heard the mayor there at the end echoing the governor, saying he's never seen them work so well.
But the mayor was very clear in his briefing had been told the video from the Lord & Taylor department store, and I was told by another source, also some video provided by a Boston television station helped them to make that video identification of a drop at the scene of a black bag right at the scene of the second explosion.
From that, I'm told the FBI through the enhanced video -- enhancement techniques had identified what they believed to be a suspect. From there, we have had a lot of conflicting information throughout the day. Now we're without a public update.
BLITZER: Yes. The governor, he seemed upbeat that eventually they would find the killer or killers, the perpetrator or perpetrators. He refused to say if there was one or several that they're looking at. He refused to say domestic or foreign, which is understandable. He doesn't want to say anything that will get in the way of the clearly sensitive investigation.
KING: Without a doubt.
As I said, there were some folks earlier today, there's no question there's much more optimism when you talk to people today. There was no question they're giving us specific information about why they believe they have a breakthrough. There was conflicting information, and we reported some of it here, about people were telling us a federal source told our Fran Townsend, a Boston source told me that -- Fran's source was an arrest had been made. My source wouldn't wave us off that and said we got him.
So clearly, there was either some confusion or some misinformation. Sometimes that happens in a case like this. But these are sources we have been talking about for a couple days who have been giving us reliable information. So there's always a question mark when things like that happen as to is there confusion in the ranks, or are there just somehow miscommunications and misinformation?
BLITZER: John, don't go too far away. Fran, Tom, also don't go too far away.
Much more on the criminal investigation here in Boston.
Also, another dramatic story we're following, a very, very emotional reaction from President Obama. You just saw it live here on CNN to the failed gun control vote in the United States Senate. We will analyze that as well.
And he was a trauma surgeon in the U.S. Army Reserves, a hero of the Boston bombings. He said he hasn't seen wounds this bad since he operated in a war zone in Iraq and Afghanistan. The trauma surgeon is here with me. We will talk about what he has seen, what he has done. Stay with us. Our special coverage will continue.
BLITZER: We will get back to the criminal investigation into the Boston bombings shortly.
But there's another important developing story we're following in Washington. Just moments ago, and you saw it live here on CNN, a very angry President Obama blasted the Senate for blocking an expansion of background checks for gun buyers in the United States. The vote in the Senate 54-46, but 60 votes were needed to pass this bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A few minutes ago, 90 percent of Democrats in the Senate voted for that idea. But it's not going to happen, because 90 percent of Republicans in the Senate just voted against that idea.
A majority of senators voted yes to protecting more of our citizens with smarter background checks. But by this continuing distortion of Senate rules, a minority was able to block it from moving forward.
So, all in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington. But this effort is not over. I want to make it clear to the American people, we can still bring about meaningful changes that reduce gun violence, so long as the American people don't give up on it.
The fact is, most of these senators could not offer any good reason why we wouldn't want to make it harder for criminals and those with severe mental illnesses to buy a gun. There were no coherent arguments as to why we wouldn't do this.
It came down to politics. Unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose, because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners. And that in turn intimidated a lot of senators.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: The president surrounded by the vice president, and also Gabby Giffords, the former U.S. congresswoman, and family members oft victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre.
Let's bring in Jake Tapper.
Jake, you worked at the White House. You were ABC's NBC News White House correspondent for a while. You got to know the president. It's rare in public we see the president show that kind of anger and emotion.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Anger and disdain, I would say.
You saw him use words like shameful, saying that all in all, this is a very shameful day in Washington. He used a word that is seldom used in politics, lie. People in Washington say almost every possible synonym for lie except for lie.
But he said -- he accused gun rights groups of lying about what was in the legislation. And he was -- his tone was angry, as you say. He was he -- had invested something in this legislation passing, in something passing.
BLITZER: It wasn't even universal background checks. It was a modified compromise that a conservative Democrat, a conservative Republican had put together.
TAPPER: Pat Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, very conservative, Joe Manchin, a Democrat of West Virginia, conservative on issues having to do with guns, both of them put this bill together. It was actually surprisingly strong.
It would have required background checks for guns purchased at gun shows and on the Internet. And it didn't really...
BLITZER: Not private transactions.
TAPPER: Not private transactions at all. There were a lot of sweeteners in there. At first, the National Rifle Association didn't have a position on it, and then they came out against it. But there were things in the bill that expanded rights for gun owners.
But ultimately the NRA is very powerful and there are a lot of people, Democrats and Republicans, in the Senate that don't think more regulations are what's needed to prevent future Newtown massacres.
BLITZER: Gloria Borger has been watching this.
Gloria, a lot of folks can't understand it -- 80 percent or 90 percent of the American people support expanded background checks. Why can't the Senate approve it?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, if you dig deeper into both parties, you will see that it's overwhelming on the Democratic side, and that on the Republican side a majority of Republicans don't support assorted brands of background checks.
And so you see that this very much is a party issue. And what I heard from the president today, not only his anger and his disdain, as Jake points out, but I also really heard him framing the 2014 election, the midterm election.
What he said is, we're going to be back at this, and you have to understand that this is an issue you can rally around. This is an issue you will have a chance to vote on. And when you look at all the Republicans running for reelection in the Senate, Wolf, there is only one of them, and that's Susan Collins of Maine, who actually voted to support this expanded background check measure.
So, you know, the president did lose four of his Democrats, but it's very, very much Republicans running for reelection in 2014. And you can be sure this is an issue the president will campaign on in those states.
BLITZER: Let's bring in our chief White House correspondent, Jessica Yellin.
The president said, Jessica, this is round one, a setback, but he's not giving up. Realistically, what can he do now?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, while we're here talking about this, the president is heading out to have dinner with Democrat senators.
He can focus now on the Democrats' agenda and exactly what Gloria just mentioned, the 2014 election. Now, I am -- I'm confident that when he said this is round one, he wasn't talking necessarily about 2014 alone. But Democrats will now make this an issue in 2014.
They can use the president's organizing OFA, his group, to help put this on ballots in states, gun issues on ballots in states, to target members who voted against this, and the president will no doubt make this an ongoing issue throughout his second term, because he has expended more political capital on this one issue than on any other single issue, frankly, since health care reform.
I'll tell you, when he spoke last week at a rally on guns, just to push the guns legislation, he said that the day of the Newtown shootings was the toughest, was the toughest day of his presidency. But then he said -- and I quote -- "But I have got to tell you, if we don't respond to this," meaning pass legislation, "that will be a tough day for me, too."
And that day is today. So, the president in January, signed 23 executive orders, and now today he vowed to make this issue an ongoing cause for him throughout the remainder of his presidency, Wolf.
BLITZER: I'm sure it will be. There's no doubt about that. Let's see if he gets anywhere on it. That's a little more difficult.
Dana Bash is up on Capitol Hill.
Dana, they couldn't get this through. What does that say about comprehensive immigration reform? What does that say about a grand bargain as far as the budget is concerned? Is anything going to get through this deeply divided U.S. Senate and House of Representatives?
DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a good question. In some ways it is an indicator of how difficult it is going to be to get some of the other pieces of legislation that genuinely are under discussion in a bipartisan way. But I think this issue of guns is in a category by itself. And the reason is because it is a tough issue, unlike the others for so many Democrats. Yes, you only saw four Democrats defect today. But if you had those four, and then they were able to sort of tell some of these Republicans who were on the fence, look, we have 60, come onboard with us, that would have made the difference. And they weren't able to do that. Because of, frankly, what the president said. That so many of these senators, including members of his own party, were just scared of taking the political risk. It is just that simple.
I just talked to Peter Carison (ph) who is the executive director of Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly's group trying to push for new gun legislation, and they went to meeting after meeting saying they were trying to find ways to help the senators get to yes, and the pushback they got was very clear they were trying to find ways to get to no. Any excuse they could find to get to no because of the political risk. And we knew that at the beginning of this debate. Thought maybe that the Newtown families and others would help bring them along. It just didn't happen. They felt it was just not worth it.
BLITZER: Certainly didn't happen on this day.
Dana Bash, thanks very much. Jake Tapper, Gloria Borger, Jessica Yellin, all of you for complete analysis of what has happened. The major setback for the president as far as expanding background checks for gun purchasers in the United States.
It is now the bottom of the hour. If you are just joining CNN's team coverage on the Boston Marathon bombing, here are some of the latest development we are watching.
We are awaiting a delayed news conference by authorities. Sources tell CNN there has been some significant progress in the case but there has been no arrests or arrest. The massive investigation continues. You are looking right now at live pictures of the painstaking work happening right now.
The governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, just told me a few moments ago, you saw it live here on CNN, that the investigation is going to take, in his words, a long time. He urged patience for everyone. And 103 people injured in Monday's bombing, bombings I should say, have now been released from hospitals here in the Boston area. Thirteen of those still hospitalized, remain in what's described as critical, critical condition.
Now, we want to bring in one of the heroes who rushed to help the victims of the terror attack here in Boston. He is a doctor who had finished running the marathon when the bombs went off. Doctor David King is a surgeon of Massachusetts general hospital. He is also a military trauma surgeon who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, a member of the U.S. army reserves.
Lieutenant colonel, is that right?
DOCTOR DAVID KING, MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL: Yes, sir.
BLITZER: All right. And Sanjay Gupta, our chief medical correspondent, himself a neurosurgeon. You are a trauma surgeon, a neurosurgeon, which one is higher on the scale?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We won't get into that.
BLITZER: We are not getting in to that.
But, I want Sanjay to continue this conversation with us.
And Doctor, tell us a little bit where you were, what happened, because you saved people's lives.
KING: Well, you know, Wolf, I crossed the finish line, was recovering in the athlete recovery area. Met up with my family probably about 15 minutes before the bomb went off. We got in a cab and headed home. I got a text message telling me that there was a bombing. So I immediately left the family at home, went to the hospital.
BLITZER: Massachusetts general?
KING: Massachusetts general hospital. And at the hospital, the infrastructure was already in place. And the emergency department was responding to the multiple casualties coming. Within about 90 seconds of arriving, I was taking the first patient to surgery.
BLITZER: And these patients had shrapnel, they have BBs, what do they have, nails? They had other -- this is the kind of stuff that you haven't seen since you were in Iraq or Afghanistan. Have you seen anything like this at Massachusetts general?
KING: Never. Not like this. These patients had what most -- what any military surgeon would describe as a common pattern for a blast in multiple fragmentation. So, that is fragments all over their entire torso, head, arms, legs, with bilateral, or both lower extremity blast injury. And those blast injuries to the legs are often devastating.
BLITZER: So you were dealing with amputees?
KING: That's exactly right.
BLITZER: Sanjay, enter this conversation because when I spoke to the doctor yesterday, he was telling me that in dealing with these kinds of surgeries, you have to do them sort of piecemeal. You can't just do them complete.
GUPTA: Right. And people oftentimes think that's because something either went wrong or there's complications. But, what the amputation, what happens?
KING: Yes. It's exactly the opposite in fact. We don't operate multiple times because something went wrong. In fact, we do that in order to make it go right. When patients are severely injured, like these patients are, with massive blood loss, what we try to do on the first operation is only stop the bleeding, and control the contamination. And that may mean leaving wounds open, not completing entire operations. We let them recover in the intensive care unit. And then the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that, we go back, we do a little more surgery. We let them recover from that. And we keep repeating this cycle to try to minimize the amount of insult to their body. We give them small discreet surgical insult, let them recover and we go back again. And this staged approach enables the patients to cope better with the stresses of surgery.
GUPTA: It's worth pointing out, Wolf, when we were talking about this now in terms of amputations, but Dave and I both know, this is a long road. And what does lie ahead for many of your patients?
KING: So, right now, we're dealing with fixing the surgical wounds. So, completing the amputations, closing wounds, fixing fragments and so on. This is the very, very beginning of a long process. These patients will have months or years of rehabilitation. They will have to be fitted for prosthetics, learn how to use the prosthetics. And that's only the medical side of it. The entire psychological aspect and post-traumatic stresses and all the other issues of coping with being involve in this kind of traumatic event, that kind of therapy could take years, or quite honestly a lifetime.
BLITZER: And normally you have dealt with these kinds of injuries on the battlefield, you never expected in Boston to have to deal with these kinds of injuries. But your military training prepared you precisely for this disaster.
KING: I can tell you when I walked into the emergency room, and I saw the first five casualties there, I felt like I could have been back in (INAUDIBLE), Afghanistan. It looked exactly the same.
BLITZER: Were these young kids? Adults? All of the above?
KING: The patients we received at the Massachusetts general hospital varied. We had no children come to us. Our youngest was in the 20s and the oldest in the 70s. So, a large spectrum.
BLITZER: Will they survive?
KING: No one can predict the future. But I can tell you that today we removed the breathing tube for the last patient who was on a breathing machine. So, now that means all of our patients are awake and can talk to us, and no one is on a breathing machine anymore. And for us, this is a big victory. So I can't tell you for certain that everybody will survive. But we are extremely hopeful. And all evidence suggests they will make a full recovery.
BLITZER: Give us your final thoughts, Sanjay.
GUPTA: Well, you know, he had just run a marathon himself. You've got the medal.
BLITZER: There's the medal.
GUPTA: You're proud of that. And you did two other marathons recently, I didn't know if I was supposed to mention that. But how -- just in terms of yourself, physically and psychologically, how are you doing?
KING: You know, I haven't stopped yet. So --
GUPTA: You have been 40 hours in a row.
KING: Yes. We've been going, not just me but the entire team, the emergency room, the operating room, the intensive care team, the hospital administration, the entire system that makes it possible to care for this many patients with these kinds of severe injuries is remarkable. And the entire system has been going nonstop since the moment the event happened. I just can't say enough about how proud I am of our team and of our hospital.
BLITZER: Doctor King.
KING: Yes, sir, thank you.
BLITZER: Thank you very much for your service here in Boston.
KING: Thank you, Sanjay.
BLITZER: Thank you for your service of the United States of America. And you have got a lot of people who are grateful for you for saving lives over there, and over here. We really appreciate it. KING: My pleasure.
BLITZER: We are going to take a quick break. When we come back, much more on the investigation. The hunt for a killer or killers, right here in Boston.
BLITZER: Authorities say at least one of the bombs that exploded right here in Boston was made out of a pressure cooker like this one. Take a look at this, photos obtained by CNN show the remains of a pressure cooker found at the scene along with a shredded black backpack and what appears to be metal pellets or ball bearings.
Let's go to CNN's Tom Foreman and in our virtual studio for a little bit more explanation of how this unfolded -- Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Wolf. This is one of the really key things they have been looking at all day today. This physical evidence and the photographic evidence that we have been talking about all day. And that we said would be important today. Like this picture from a TV station showing that one pack, in front of a railing with a crowd of people behind it. And the other thing we've heard so much about, video from a Lord & Taylor security camera.
This is the Lord & Taylor store right across the street. There is the security camera up in the roof.
Let me flip around and go behind and look from that camera down, where this explosions happened. The camera is actually way over to the side over here. But, that's the location. A little more perspective on this. I'm going to bring in the models here, Wolf, and talk about precisely where this is, so you can understand why investigators are so excited about all of this.
This is where your position is, Wolf, right back over here. This is where CNN has been operating all day long. If we move up here, though, I'm going to light up in yellow where the Lord & Taylor's is. Now, look very closely on this and you can see what we are talking about. Because if you go right down to the corner there, you can see that right down there, that blue dot, that's that camera. There's the second explosion site. The first one is up the street. You can see what a commanding view that camera has. That's why people are excited. Because they're saying that may have a very clear image of what happened on the street during the day, Wolf.
And as you mentioned, that may be tied in to other things. This is where the blast occurred, right there, where they were pointing that camera. And they found evidence of just what you're talking about. That pressure cooker up and down the street -- Wolf.
BLITZER: What about the efforts, Tom, to essentially rebuild these two bombs?
FOREMAN: Yes. It's really important and people may not think so. But, think about what you mentioned, Wolf. You have the backpack that they think was associated with all of this. You also have the portions of the pressure cooker itself. Remember, we said some of this might be found on a rooftop, in fact the lid of one of these was found up on a rooftop. And you have other electrical components.
The reason they want to find everything, and pull this all together and have a sense of how it would have existed as a complete bomb is because that lets them know if they are missing anything, and every single piece may have a key that links them back to a person on that street -- Wolf.
FOREMAN: Tom Foreman, thanks for that explanation.
Our own Pentagon correspondent, Chris Lawrence, went over the videos of this season with a former ATF assistant director Michael Bouchard.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Can they take that video from the second scene and start to build the case backwards to photos like these?
MICHAEL BOUCHARD, FORMER ATF ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Yes. What the investigators will do is begin flipping the cameras an hour and a half, two hours before the bomb blasts to see who was in the area at the time. Checking it every 15, 20 minutes. And if they see the same person in the same pictures, it's not likely they were there to watch someone else finish the race.
LAWRENCE: Can we tell pretty much where that first bomb was plant?
BOUCHARD: Yes. In this picture between the light pole and the building, you can see how heavily concentrated the people are. So, if someone left a backpack or duffel bag on the ground, people wouldn't really notice it.
LAWRENCE: Is there any way the bomb could have been placed on the curb?
BOUCHARD: It's highly unlikely the bomb was placed on the curb because when the bomb went off, this were runners who were going by at the same time and they were uninjured. It was more likely to be placed up in this area where all the victims were obviously so badly injured that they couldn't walk away. They immediately fell where they were struck. There should be residue of the explosive on the clothing of the victims who were closest to the device.
LAWRENCE: The more residue you have, the closer you were to the bomb itself.
LAWRENCE: So when they start to look for where and who placed that first bomb, they're going to be looking basically rate here.
BOUCHARD: Correct. They should see a crack in the sidewalk, or a burn, or something from where the device was placed. (END VIDEOTAPE)
LAWRENCE: And you can see why it's so important and trying so hard to get any spectator to give them the video and the photos, because they can literally establish a timeline minute by minute.
And Wolf, remember, they are not just collecting evidence to catch a suspect, at the same time they are also trying to build a case -- Wolf.
BLITZER: They certainly are. And they need that evidence to do so.
Chris Lawrence, thanks very much.
Still ahead here, our special coverage continues. Security at the Boston marathon, was it tight enough? We are taking a closer look at what was done, what more could have been done.
Stay with us.
BLITZER: A marathon security presence bigger than past years but still not enough to prevent this horrible tragedy here in Boston. CNN's Brian Todd is working the story for us.
Brian, what are you finding out?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, new information tonight on the level of security, ahead of the marathon and during the event. We are told Boston police had stepped up their presence.
TODD (voice-over): A Boston law enforcement official tells CNN, 70 to 75 more police officers were deployed for this year's Boston marathon than were on the streets last year. The official says between city, state and other law enforcement agencies, there were more than a thousand officers and soldiers deployed before the explosions. The police commissioner says this about the spot where the blasts occurred.
ED DAVIS, COMMISSIONER, BOSTON POLICE: The finish line this year and assigned more officers down in that area. I think if you look at the videotapes you can see that.
TODD: That includes canine units, air patrols and --
What's going on the rooftops?
LIEUTENANT TOM NOLAN, FORMER BOSTON POLICE: Well, uncertain of these rooftops, you will see officers with high powered rifles and binoculars deployed and they may move from one location to another.
TODD: Former Boston police lieutenant Tom Nolan worked more than 20 Boston marathons. He took us through the roof he patrol, showed us how the police check every trash can, set up metal (INAUDIBLE).
Nolan says given the information Boston police had before the race, security was more than sufficient. Nolan says security is the most heightened as the elite runners approach the finish line right down this street. The Boston law enforcement official we spoke with says security does not recede after those runners cross.
Lorena Hopper finished in the middle of the pack yesterday.
LORENA HOPPER, BOSTON MARATHON RUNNER: For the most part, I felt that this was probably the most secure marathon than I have seen. There was police at every single corner that we turned.
TODD: But Tom Nolan says this about the period after the top runners come in and the roof swells with many others.
NOLAN: That heightened sense of awareness that hyper vigilance, if you want to consider it that, diminishes over the hours.
TODD: The explosions occurred right about then. More than four hours into the race. Nolan says from now on officers will be told to stay hyper vigilant at those times.
Also he say, more police officers will be out, more special weapons units, more outside law enforcement agencies will come in and --
NOLAN: I think you' see more plain clothed offers in the next running of the marathon for sure without question. That will be an emphasis and the next deployment plan will be a heavy presence of plain clothes officers infiltrating the crowd.
TODD: And Nolan says, what they will be looking for is obvious, backpacks, boxes, discarded containers, anything left unattended -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Brian Todd, thanks very much.
And the governor of Massachusetts told me just a little while ago that they are going to learn all of the lessons from this tragedy and try to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Erin Burnett will have all the latest information that's coming up right at the top of the hour and that's next.
BLITZER: Tomorrow morning there will be an interfaith memorial service here in Boston. The mayor, the governor, all of the officials here will gather with a couple thousand people to pay tribute to those who were killed and injured in the double bombings on Monday at the end of the Boston marathon. President Obama and the first lady Michelle Obama will be here as well.
We will be here as well. We will have special coverage, Anderson Cooper and I will begin that coverage at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Until then thanks very much for watching, our nonstop special coverage of the aftermath of the Boston bombings continues right now with the special edition of Erin Burnett's "OUTFRONT."