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CNN BREAKING NEWS
FBI Releases Boston Suspect Pictures; Discussing How the Investigation Proceeds; New Image Possibly Shows Suspect Number Two; Reaching Out to West, Texas; Inside the Blast Zone; Boston Heroes: Running to Help
Aired April 19, 2013 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, TELEVISION HOST, CNN: This is Piers Morgan live. It's midnight here on the East Coast, 9 p.m. out west between six and a half hours as the FBI released some pictures of two wanted men in the world - where are they? Who are they? Right now, it's anybody guess. And I hope that somebody has information that will find them. What we do know is that the two men was indicated walking through the marathon crowd. One wears a black hat and why they're caring backpacks, the authories say. The staged worst (ph) destruction that killed three people and injured more than 180.
Also, some of the two pieces of huge breaking news happening, as we've come on air right now. A policeman has been shot at MIT and seriously wounded. We'll go straight through the update on that in a moment. And there's also a dramatic new picture, which is emerged in the last few minutes of one of the two FBI suspects that was taken by a man called David Green, who's in Florida, just some moments after the blast. The person on the left wearing a white hat closely resembles one of the bombing suspects in Dover (ph). David Green joins us exclusively on the phone.
Mr. Green, this has all happened in the last - a few minutes in terms of coming to public attention but you took this photograph. You went to the Boston Marathon and took this picture. What did you do with it after you've taken it?
DAVID GREEN, 110% PLAY HARDER, CEO: So, after I took it, I posted it on my Facebook because I was probably one of the first people on the scene. And I saw the bomb. I saw the tragedy. And afterwards, I posted on my Facebook to give those - my family and friends in account of both what I've been through.
MORGAN: You've been travelled back, I believe, to your home in Florida. And at that point that a friend of yours, I believe - and clarify that for me - said to you that there was a likeness between one of the two FBI suspect pictures released today and this person in your picture.
GREEN: That's correct. The - when I was on my home about 7 o'clock, a friend of mine texted me said, "Dave, you have to let me look at that photo because I think you've got one of the suspect I.D. there." And the thing that's next is very meaningful to me is that when I saw all of the people injured and I walked away and I so (ph) was not able to help them, I called my wife crying that I couldn't do anything and so it affected me. I can't tell you how good I felt today. I caught one photo that could help this case.
MORGAN: When you realized what you may have, did you then contact the police immediately?
GREEN: I contacted the FBI, which I had actually done on Monday. And when I contacted the FBI on Monday, I had actually pointed out another person, who have not been running away in a panic but it was not the person, I guess, that they were looking for.
GREEN: When I contacted them this evening at 7 o'clock, they immediately knew that they had something. I have given them everything that I have and they told me that it looks like a very good picture.
MORGAN: So, just to clarify, Mr. Green, you had all ready notified the FBI on Monday; that you had a set of the pictures, and they took the seat (ph) of those pictures.
And then, today, at 7 p.m. tonight, Florida time, I assume, you contacted them again to say, "Look again at one of the pictures, I think that one of the guys is in the pictures." Is that right?
MORGAN: And you're a professional photographer?
GREEN: No, No. Close from it (ph).
GREEN: I had actually just ran the marathon. I finished around at 1:40 p.m. and four of my friends were cheering on. They were standing right at about the spot when the second bomb went off.
On my way back to meet them, they have disappeared. I didn't know where they were. Unfortunately, my phone died, so I dipped (ph) into a store to get some power; that was about 2:30. I came out of the store at 2:50, and I ended up on Fairfield Orphan (ph)back into the bombs (ph) for what would have been my third time passing that site.
And I was walking, I saw a bomb one, I saw a bomb two. And the first thing I do is I pulled out my phone and took a one picture and that was the picture.
From there, I ran and to see if I could help people. And what I saw was something that I was incapable of helping anybody because it was well beyond anything I've seen or knew how to deal with. And then, started walking away and taking other photos to see if there was something I could memorialize that might be helpful.
MORGAN: And you took this picture with an iPhone. Is that right?
GREEN: I did. Correct.
MORGAN: And the reason of the FBI so interested in this photograph is it's the clearest image apparently they have to date of one of the two suspects.
GREEN: I guess so. They - I know that the images that they released were the best quality that they had and I know that the photo, at least, showed that the suspect has a number three on their baseball cap and on the hands (ph), number seven. And it also, I think, shows that he was not wearing the bag with the bomb post explosion.
MORGAN: He also continues to exude this demener (ph) of extraordinary nonchalance. And by comparison to many of the people in your photograph were clearly, extremely panic-striken. And that, again, coupled with the other pictures apparently of him and the other suspect, being remarkably notably calm in the vicinity, would tend to suggest this is the same person that they're looking for, and the calmness is because he may be connected the perpetration of the explosion.
GREEN: Yes. And if - you know, it's interesting also because for a moment, as we were looking at that photo or I was looking at it, somebody else told me to look right behind him because there is also a gentleman who almost resembles the second suspect with khakis, the a black cap (ph) and a black cap but it actually turned to be that he's got a red part of the cap, not the white part. And that he also - I couldn't find anything else but that's the best it look like but that suspect number two, in advance of the crowd, is behind and aware of what was going on.
MORGAN: The - when these pictures first began to emerge tonight, there were obviously down to about the authenticity. The New York Times eventually wrote the story involving your name, and, presumably, there's no doubt, as far as you're concerned, about the authenticity of this particular image.
GREEN: No. This is on my iPhone. This is what I took.
MORGAN: How many pictures, in total, did you take? Did you say that you just took the one or was there a set?
GREEN: That's a one picture. All the other photos that I have are videos that I was taking afterwards.
MORGAN: Do you think it's possible that on those videos you have more imagery of this particular man?
GREEN: No. I don't think so because as you can see he was definitely leaving and I caught him really on the tail end of my photo because I said, I walked straight into the area, where the bomb had gone off to see if I could help people. And probably within 30 seconds, every spectator and athlete, who was running for their lives, was gone, and what was left was a very - a number of victims. First, the responders (ph) who bravely jumped into it and then some people like me, who were kind of coming back to see if we could help. But we're not many people left. And the video that I took was really - it's a very tragic video of a lot of injured people, including children.
MORGAN: And it wasn't extraordinary powerful image anyway. But when you add this particular detail, this could be of absolutely vital interest to the FBI - clearly is all ready - and indeed to the whole investigation. And there were some details on the picture, which I'm sure where not as clear as some of the other pictures that were released today, particularly the shoes that he's wearing and other details, as you said, about the baseball cap. And I'm not sure exactly what we can see. But we'll get a - I'm sorry. I'm just having that clarified.
It's the shoes that someone's left behind on the floor; there that was seen in that picture right now. Do you know whether they might may possibly belong to this particular suspect, for example?
GREEN: No. I don't know, Piers. I was - it was all very sad; a lot of screaming, a lot of noise.
GREEN: And as I said I took that one photo and then really rest (ph) in to see if I could help.
MORGAN: What about some photo - are you from, David?
GREEN: I'm from Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
MORGAN: Right. And what is your occupation?
GREEN: I'm the CEO of 110% compression on ice, which is - we make compression garmentsfor athletes, and I was up at the marathon running; my first Boston marathon, so I was super excited, hoping (ph) while they were doing the expo. And, of course, should end in a tragedy. And I'm trying to figure out how we can help them.
MORGAN: A final question. I mean, how do you feel if it turns out that this is the suspect and it turns out to be the person that did this, as somebody who ran in the race? How do you feel about having recorded such an extraordinary photograph?
GREEN: You know I've got to be honest that I'm pretty numb because of everything I've seen and very emotional (ph) for me to have been standing there trying to help and feeling very helpless. So, this brings me a lot of joy and I hope this helps and solve this case in a way almost to redeem what I couldn't do at the site where I saw a lot of people in need.
MORGAN: David Green, thank you so much for joining on the phone and for explaining this extraordinary development tonight, and really quite remarkable that the one picture you took has this extraordinary scene anyway but then you add to it this new image of, by far, the cleanest we have seen, so far, from the public's point of view, of one of the two suspects. And it may well lead to this person being apprehended, which would be a remarkable achievement. Thanks to your words. So, thank you very much indeed.
GREEN: My pleasure.
MORGAN: Quite a story developing tonight. And now, I'll turn to another big development; another breaking news story, seen a natural cause by (INAUDIBLE) Susan Candiotti is following the shooting of an MIT police officer tonight. This happend at short distance from the side of the bombing.
So, Susan (ph), what can you tell me about what's happened here?
SUSAN CANDIOTTI, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: What's yet another painful day in the history of the city. Can you imagine? We are getting more tonight, Piers, that a police officer, who is shot and - at the campus at MIT, which is just about two miles away from where we are standing, has died; that according to the Massachusetts State Police.
We don't know the circumstances surrounding it. Only that we found that within the hour that there have been a shooting on campus and that a campus police officer had been seriously wounded and shot. And then, an alert was sent out; this is according to the state police.
And that according to MIT, on its own Web site, it was - it said that it happened near Building 32, and that everyone on campus was advised to stay away from that area; that it was a very fluid and an extremely dangerous situation. And now, we learned that the police officer has died of these injuries. He has not yet been identified. And, again, Piers, we don't know what led to that but we can tell you that from an advantage point, we can see, what appears to be, a police helicopter circling the air behind us, obviously, as part of the ongoing investigation.
We have also learned that, along with the Massachusetts State Police investigating this, that the FBI is also aware and may be very well represented on the scene. But that's par (ph) for the course of this; what they would normally be notified of something like this. But we don't know that they are actively involved in the investigation.
And as far as you're aware, Susan, the MIT Web site said earlier that the situation is considered active and extremely dangerous. Is that still the situation? Is this - shoot is still at large?
CANDIOTTI: It appears to be the case. We have said (ph) the Web site hasn't changed; it is still being called in a fluid situation, so we don't know at this time whether anyone has been caught. If it has happened, then we'd not been notified of that, Piers.
MORGAN: And, Susan, a little earlier, in our early report at nine, we were just given the breaking news that you had discovered, from one of your sources, I believe, about the two suspects in these pictures; that they had shown remarkable kind of nonchalance and hanging around the scene, having planted their bombs. We now have this development of a new picture, a much clearer image of one of the suspects. What do you make of that?
CANDIOTTI: Isn't that something I know we all, I'm sure, felt chilled, as we saw the videotape and the still photos of the two suspects identified by the FBI, right before this happened and the casual way that they were walking, as you put it very nonchalantly.
Now, we see this photograph. But now the information I have learned from a federal law enforcement official, who has seen videos of the - what happened before and afterwards, you wonder what was happening? When it happened?
Well, according to this official, these two suspects were very casual about what happened; watched, stuck around the scene, the bomb explode and then walked away.
In the words of this law enforcement official said that, "They did exactly what everyone else wasn't doing; everyone else was acting very differently - running away, trying to help people - and these people walked away casually."
And, apparently, there are images of that that have not been released. But, as you point out, Piers, now that we see this photograph, of course, you can't tell because it's a still photograph, a still frame, we don't see any real movement, so we can't tell how fast he was walking, what he was doing, but that does appear to resemble the suspect.
MORGAN: And it's also an absolute indication - and many will argue of what the FBI did today in effect of the crowd-sourcing the situation and appealing directly to the public to tell them anything of maybe of use because, clearly, a friend of this man, David Green - he took me a major one photograph and he said to me, contacted him and said, "Have you studied the background in this picture? One of the two FBI suspects from their pictures is definitely in your picture." Now, that point, he called the FBI and told them and they discovered they had this new development, which is, potentially, very significant for them.
CANDIOTTI: Boy, it sure is. And that's exactly what the FBI wants people to do.
You think you might now have something? Go ahead and look. Give it a second look and a third look because you never know what you may find. And, in fact, we know that their Web sites practically crashed today; so many people were tuning in to see what the FBI was putting out. And, now, we know that they are being imnendated (ph) with tips with phone calls; people looking at what they have and, perhaps, telling them they think they might recognize this man. And you saw what happened here.
CANDIOTTI: That's exactly what we have here. He all ready called in ahead of time and, now, again - he called again to say, "I think that's him," and the FBI seemed to readily acknowledge that according to Mr. Green; what he told you. MORGAN: And I would - if anybody who's watching who's watching this, who's looking at that image and the time that it was taken, you think about 2:50 p.m. If you were anywhere near that scene taking pictures, then please call the FBI immediately, let me see all your film.
Susan, for now, thank you very much. I'm sure we'll be back for more updates on the tragic shooting and killing, it now appears, of a policeman at MIT; another devastating incident that happened in Boston this week. It's been an extraordinary week for this kind of dreadful incidences. Susan, thank you for now.
CANDIOTTI: Yes, it has.
MORGAN: Joining me now is Jim Maxwell (ph), a retired FBI special agent, also a CCN contributor and former CIA, (INAUDIBLE), Bob Bauer..
And, Jim, you've been sitting here, watching all this. I spoke to you a few hours earlier, immediately we have what the FBI would, I would think we believe to be a significant development; it's sort of as a new picture. What do you make of that?
JIM MAXWELL, RETIRED SPECIAL AGENT, FBI; Well, I can tell you that this is a classic example, throughout my career, every investigation, every successful investigation, is hinged on the cooperation of the (INAUDIBLE); good citizens out there willing to raise their hand, step forward, make a statement, testify in court, provide information. And this is a classic example of that.
This photo, now, gives us direction; we know which direction each one of the bombers started to head, as the bomb went off. Hopefully, other video and photo will ultimately extend where he was headed or maybe who he hooked up with that at the end.
MORGAN: Bob Baer, let me you bring in here. Clearly, things happening at quite at pace now. This new image gives us a much clearer picture of one of the suspect's faces is also the strange situation of some shoes on the floor. If not, if it makes any connection to him at all but, of course, it could be.
And it frights me that some of the clothing that he's wearing, you could identify more and more that that in itself could be a firm clue. What do you think about the way this is developing in the last few hours?
BOB BAER, FORMER AGENT, CIA: I think this technology is remarkable. A couple of years ago I work in an assassination investigation in Lebanon and it's an amazing ability of modern police force to go after people like this and run them down the ground is amazing.
I think that if, in fact, these people have stayed in the United States and these pictures are everywhere with the police, with the facial recognition, that it's a matter of time, we get them (INAUDIBLE) left.
(CROSSTALK) MORGAN: I mean it's - right. It seems so to me because social media has been taking into a bit of a taking in the last 36 hours for lots of hype and (INAUDIBLE) rumor and so on. And that's the bad side of the way the social media means, so they can play in these situations but now we have a very clear positive, where you have somebody who took one picture on his iPhone, he then posted to Facebook. A friend of his on Facebook studied that picture once the FBI released these images today. And so, the connection - and that, in itself, could be a really quite dramatic move forward for the FBI.
BAER: Yes. There's no way out of this for them, unless they go live in a wilderness or something like that. They're just not (INAUDIBLE).
You know you have the unit bomber, he got away because he never went up on the Internet, on phones, on anything. He just disappeared. I think that's - that happening now, unlikely, but that's the only way they're going to get away with the FBI.
The FBI is not going to miss a beat on any of these. It's amazing what they can do when they bring resources to a crime like this.
MORGAN: Definitely. Bob and Jim, please stay with me. Take a short break. Come back on these two breaking stories - one a police officer 's has been tragically killed at MIT tonight in a shootout; and also this new images appearing on one of the two suspects and the FBI hunting for the Boston bombing. Be back after break.
MORGAN: So, we'll be showing you that incredible new photograph of the bombing that had apparently shows suspect number two. We spoke to the man who took the picture. This could be huge piece of vital new evidence. A new photo comes after FBI released two other pictures of the suspects and generating a huge volume of tips that's going out to CNN, Tom Foreman, with closer look at those images.
TOM FOREMAN, REPORTER, CNN: Piers, this is the video that the FBI wants to everyone to look at. Here, here comes suspect number one, according to the FBI, and suspect number two heading down the sidewalk. And it's good to have some frame of reference here to understand exactly where they're going and why this matters so much to the FBI.
Where are these people? Right now, the police are headed down East Bolyston Avenue. This is actually the race happening right out here headed this direction. They're moving with the race.
Right now, this person who is now associated with the first blast, near the finish line, is about three blocks away from that location.
The second person back here now associated with the second blast is about one and a half blocks away from that location. So, they're in the right position.
The police say that they're moving together. Why would they think that? Well, there are two people walking on the sidewalk or you'll notice they're moving at exactly the same speed.
The one behind is following in exactly the same position in relation to the front. And you know this shot, you'll even notice he jogs over here to the right and this will follow right behind him at the end.
No doubt the authorities have some other videos too that associates this relationship between them. But there are other things in this, it's certainly are going to be scrutinized and very closely, Piers, as time goes on, including the backpacks that both of these men are carrying, including their clothing, they're carrying, and where they are in other pictures in other video.
All of that is being compared to the physical evidence of the shredded backpack that we've seen all ready of the crushed pressure cooker that we've seen all ready and, of course, of these still photos, which the FBI wants everyone to look at very closely to see if they recognize anybody who is associated with this crime. That's the whole reason they put this video out.
MORGAN: Thanks. So, back now with Jim Maxwell, a retired FBI special agent, and (INAUDIBLE) contributor for the CIA operative, Bob Baer.
Bob, we're edging at a closer here, aren't we because it seems almost impossible to take it back tomorrow, particularly this is a homegrown active terror that these two suspects, well, would have been identified by somebody?
BAER: Because they can't move. I mean unless, out of some miracle in the first couple of hours, they were whisked away, put in disguise, a super organized exit route. There is somewhere a hotel with friends. And I think it's a matter of time. This is pure speculation but with this kind of pictures, with these kinds of evidence, it's just a matter of time.
Jim Maxwell, I don't know what the FBI has and this is, I suppose, in terms of face recognition but from that much clearer image, they have now, from the iPhone, assuming it is suspect number two, would they be able from that, you think, to have a much better idea of ethnicity or a region of the world that this particular suspect has come from?
MAXWELL: The technology does exist and the bureau does have access to it but the catch here is there have to have somebody in the database that matches up that - this image.
MORGAN: But could they say this person is a Middle East origin or...
MAXWELL: I think it'd be very early to say to try to even draw that...
MORGAN: Not that you can tell from it.
MAXWELL: Absolutely not. Right. MORGAN: Even the latest one, it'll be very hard to say - is he an American?
MORGAN: Or is he fro the Middle East? Or it's not obvious.
MAXWELL: No, it's not. And you need somebody who will step forward and say, "I recognize these guys. I rented a room to them. I rented a storage facility to them. They come in regularly to eat or have coffee." It could manifest itself in any different ways.
And from that in view, you'll be getting to get some idea or profile of who they are and where they from. So...
MORGAN: In terms of the way the FBI conduct these things, we have to assume that when they when they were releasing, which is that they have a lot more material, probably, the disposal.
MORGAN: And this is like a spratic (ph) after math (ph); they're getting out, they try to hook in exactly what they have hooked in, new photographs and so on.
MORGAN: But will they have all ready done all the necessities of locking down ports and airports and so on? So, if they are trying to get away out of America, they're waiting for them.
MAXWELL: Yes, I believe so. The mechanics of doing that - it's quite an undertaking but there are people assigned full time just for that type of duty. And right now, with the photos that have not been released or the images that have not been released and now we're starting to see and put together what these guys are up to, I think, everybody agrees this is cowardly act. But, also, anybody who is capable of doing - leaving a bomb in a public place to kill innocent people, there's got to be a sociopath of some sort.
MORGAN: Bob Baer, if you work from the presumption that might be Al Queda and we have no logic for that at the moment. If you work from - I think - does everything you seen about all the fragments of the bomb, the batteries, a way the device was set up, the modus operanda of two people who are calm, they checking out the vicinity probably planned this for quite some time now a little bit, there's always add up to a classic Al Queda strike, if it turns out, to have been that?
BAER: It does. I don't - so far, I haven't seen any mistakes they have made. Somebody has coached them, again. They cased the place to make sure backpacks weren't being searched, the fact that there was a remote control denotator shows a certain amount of sophistication, two bombs, we used to call it "double tapping"; we always do it everything in twos. It was a military operation in that sense. And the fact that both detonators went off that's not always assured.
It has a ring of something of experience, it really does. And it, very well, could be Al Queda in the sense of mass casualties, hit the United States in revenge for the drone attacks, any number of reasons. And would they absolutely have to claim it?
No. I mean, they don't - their playbook doesn't say "claimer" right away. They may strike again and claim it then you just - you can't tell.
If it's domestic, I would say the same thing. These people have some sort of practice, wherever. I mean, they might have gone out there on their own or they may have some military back-up.
MORGAN: I was going to ask you that specific question. If it turns out to be domestic terrorism, would the people that have done this needed to have had some military experience at some stage?
BAER: You know, they wouldn't have to, but I think Jimmy could tell you, you know, you always want to practice with explosives before you start playing with them. I mean, it's just the rule.
You cannot sit down and look at a book or get on the internet and expect your bomb to go off the first time. You'd be just very lucky. That's been my experience. So, I think, you know, one of these two explanations are the most reasonable.
MORGAN: Jim, would you go along with that?
MAXWELL: Yes, I would agree. If you go back to the late '70s, the weatherman made that mistake then blew themselves up down here in New York while constructing bombs and learning how to construct bombs.
This particular incident does have the earmarks of preplanning. They're very cool, calm and collected in the execution of what they did that day. I think the FBI laboratory, once they are successful in putting this -- these devices back together, will get a clearer indication of their level of sophistication and expertise.
As well as many of these bomb builders, it's been my experience over in Iraq, that they have a signature. They have a specific style. The type of equipment, type of battery, type of wiring, harness, whatever it may be, and some of these individuals are traceable. Until we see that, we're never going to get a clear picture.
MORGAN: The fed has said the FBI manhunt for these two suspects is very alive. And at the moment I would say they are bearing down on them.
MAXWELL: This is a full court press, no doubt in my mind.
MORGAN: Jim Maxwell and (inaudible), thank you both very much, indeed.
Coming up next, another big story of the day, the frantic search for survivors of that devastating explosion in West, Texas. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
MORGAN: Breaking news on the huge fertilizer plant explosion in Texas. The blast had 200 people injured. Fears as much as 35 people may have died. CNN's Brian Todd is in the city of West with more details -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Piers, today, when the sun came up we got some clearer, new pictures of just the level of devastation in the town of West. Whole city blocks have been levelled by this explosion. You could feel this blast from 50 miles away, some new pictures coming in from YouTube and other sources.
And some of our media teams were able to get a brief tour inside the zone, but not very long. The access is limited. But you can see just the level of level of devastation of entire houses, buildings completely levelled, roofs torn off, siding blown in, things like that.
A couple hours ago, you know, we went to a candlelight vigil here in West. One of the Catholic churches here, St. Mary's Catholic Church, hundreds of people packed inside. It was very emotional. Tears all over the place as two of the local pastors spoke briefly and gave a sermon.
It was there that we caught up with Steve Vanek. He is a local volunteer firefighter. He was one of the first people on the scene after the blast. He was about a quarter mile away. He was responding to the initial fire when the blast occurred. He was about a quarter mile away.
He went straight into one of the neighborhoods. By his estimate, he pulled seven to eight people out of their homes. I talked to him about how difficult it was to get those people out.
He was telling me he had gone into seven or eight homes. He said it was tough to get in, smoke and debris all over the place, roofs collapsed in. He was getting kind of emotional about it. Two of the people were his own relatives, his sister and brother-in-law he pulled out.
We heard from him and we spoke to a woman named Vanessa Williams. She actually gave us a great picture, a picture of the huge cloud that went up after the blast occurred. She was in the neighborhood when she took that picture, the windows were getting blown out of her car and her cars were being flattened by this blast.
Her son -- she's divorced and her son was staying with her husband at the time. She was rushing toward their home. The house had exploded. The son and ex-husband were close by. They were not hurt, but her ex- husband jumped on her 8-year-old son to save him. I caught up with her and she was telling me how she feared the worse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VANESSA KOTCH-WILLIAMS, WITNESSED EXPLOSION: I can hear the explosion. I'll never forget it. I will never forget pulling up to my son's house and thinking he was dead and my ex-husband was dead. That's very scary.
TODD: How are you feeling now?
WILLIAMS: He's alive, but there are people that aren't. So God be with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: So, teams are still combing through the wreckage tonight trying to find survivors. I spoke to a man with Texas Task Force One search and rescue team. They've gone through 70-plus structures in this town, have found no one at all yet, but still searching tonight -- Piers.
MORGAN: Brian, thank you very much, indeed. We'll be back after the break with all the breaking news. Another hugely busy news night and we'll have all the details for you in a moment.
MORGAN: The blast in West, Texas, is a tragedy on international scale. Small community is deeply rooted in Czech heritage, a bond so strong. Petr Gandalovi, Czech ambassador to the U.S. joins me now.
Ambassador, a huge connection between the Czech Republic and West, this very small little town in Texas. Tell me about the connection and why it's so important to you?
PETR GANDALOVI, CZECH REPUBLIC AMBASSADOR TO U.S.: Well, first of all, I wish on behalf of Czech people and of my own behalf to express my sympathies for those who lost their loved ones and of course, to wish all those injured a speedy recovery as well as the relationship between the Czech Republic and township of West.
Of course, it is because more than 70 percent of population is of Czech descent. Czechs began coming here in the second half of the 19th Century. And they are people who have both parts of their family Czech and then there are some, of course, some half-Czechs.
So we feel at home and if you come to this town, you really see many Czech names on the storefronts. You see those like Kolaca. You may say that West is the Czech capital of Texas.
MORGAN: Is it making big news back in the Czech Republic?
GANDALOVI: Yes, it's really followed very closely. Again, I wish to stress the sympathies of all Czechs that lost their loved ones. Minister of foreign affairs personally asked me to come here and to convey his sympathies.
MORGAN: It's obviously an ongoing crisis. We still don't know how many people have lost their lives. Nearly 200 people were wounded in what happened and firefighters are still way down there. Extraordinary tales of courage have come out from these people. Many of the firefighters are just part time.
GANDALOVI: Yes, I've been hearing stories that really get to your heart. I'm staying with the family of the Czech honorary counsel and he's very much connected with the community. I've been hearing these stories firsthand, really very sad.
Of course, I will be talking to people in town, to the mayor, about how the Czech Republic may help this community in the future, in the near future, with recovery, with projects that will repair everything that has been damaged.
MORGAN: Ambassador, I really do appreciate you taking the time to call in and it's a very sad day for the Czech Republic and for West, this little town in Texas, an extraordinary connection. I can quite understand from talking to you why it matters so much to you and to your people. Thank you for joining me.
GANDALOVI: Thank you for having me.
MORGAN: The blast at the fertilizer plant is still very volatile. Want to go now to CNN's chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, who was given access to the devastation zone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: As soon as you come into the community, which we've been allowed to do, no one else has been in here, you see some of the obvious signs of damage, blown- out windows. We're about a half mile away from the explosion site.
This is the school over here we've been talking so much about. That was a school. You can see the entire side of it sort of collapsed inside over there. Come over here and take a look. You see some of the buildings still off in the distance.
This home, first of all, if you look at it, just come in and take a look, I mean, the front door literally pulled away on this house. This is what it looked like inside. It is quite extraordinary.
It's hard to tell you the magnitude of this blast and what it did, but these images give you somewhat of a better idea. Just take a look. I think these images are important to be able to show to you just how significant this impact was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Really quite extraordinary scenes there. The heroes of Boston, I talked to a military man who ran to help the victims after the marathon bombings.
MORGAN: Stories of heroism following the deadly explosions in Boston marathon. Among them three National Guardsman who took part in the marathon to raise money for charity and then to find themselves in a combat zone. Joining Staff Sergeant Mark Welch, First Sergeant Bernard Madore and First Lt. Stephen Fiola, welcome to all three of you. Thank you for joining me.
You went down there. You were just running the marathon for fallen heroes and then suddenly you're back into a war zone. What were your feelings? Let me start with you, if I may, First Sergeant Madore.
FIRST SGT. BERNARD MADORE, 106TH TRANSPORTATION COMPANY: Feeling we did a great thing. We went in there. We did what we've been trained to do. There were a lot of first responders in there with us, the Boston fire, the policemen, everybody, the first responders from there and the medical tent. It was really good. We just did what we had to do to take care of the people in need.
MORGAN: First Lieutenant Stephen Fiola, you were guests of the president this morning at interfaith service. Thought it was a powerful speech, very raw and passionate. What was it like to be there?
FIRST LT. STEPHEN FIOLA, 1O6TH TRANSPORTATION COMPANY: It was -- well, first of all, it was an honor to be able to be there given the light of the unfortunate situation. I think the speech not only from the president but from Mayor Menino, from Governor Deval Patrick and absolutely from the president himself, absolutely powerful.
I think the message was very, very clear. I think the response from the people not just in what we call beam town, not just here in Boston, but throughout the country and the world, I think it's been absolutely astonishing.
True evidence in spirit of the -- of human culture and nature and everything we're about. And the response to what -- to being there, was just -- it was humbling. It was nice to be able to witness that firsthand.
MORGAN: Certainly was. Staff Sergeant Mark Welch, the FBI has released pictures of the suspects. When you saw that breaking this afternoon, what was your reaction?
STAFF SGT. MARK WELCH: I'm just happy they're finally getting somewhere. I know they've been saying that for a few days. I hope this gets resolved soon so everybody gets a good healing in this country. I think that's what we need.
MORGAN: Absolutely. Gentlemen, thank you for joining me. You performed acts of great heroism. And a lot of people said that you were directly responsible for helping to save lives and for that we thank you again for your service.
Not service you expected to do, I'm sure, when you set out to run that race, but you were called into actions and you responded as usual with great sense of pomp and duty. Thank you all very much indeed. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: That's all for us this morning. We'll be back later today with new photographs of the FBI suspects in the Boston bombings. We'll leave you with the emotional moment at the Bruins game when the entire crowd joined in to sing the "Star Spangled Banner."