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Bombing Suspects' Father Speaks Out; Suspect May be Charged at Hospital; Agencies Review Bombing Suspects; Red Sox Fans Cheer Hometown; Searching for Answers; Building a Safer Marathon; Central Texas Plant Explosion; Captured After a Final Gunfight

Aired April 20, 2013 - 13:00   ET


JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: It's the top of the hour. I'm Jake Tapper here in Boston. And this is a special edition of CNN NEWSROOM covering the capture of the suspect in the Boston terrorist attacks and the investigation.

It's what we've all wanted to know since that horrible moment Monday afternoon. Police now say it looks as if the two Boston marathon bombing suspects acted alone. The investigation is still in high gear, but today people in Boston can start trying to get past this terrible event. With four people dead and almost 200 injured, it it will not be easy to do so.

A hail of bullets rang out as the last suspect -- 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev held off police in a Watertown, Massachusetts, backyard last night as seen here in this CBS news photo. He used a boat to shield himself in the final standoff. When authorities finally captured him, they found him wounded, drenched in blood. Earlier the Watertown police chief spoke with Wolf Blitzer about how it all went down.


CHIEF EDWARD DEVEAU, WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS POLICE: We had a couple of thousand police officers on scene. The turnout was just incredible. The support that we got from the state and from the region. So we had the tactical people to be able to close that scene down and secure it. We did take our time to make sure that everybody was safe in the neighborhood.

And eventually we had to use some flash-bangs to render the subject.


It's just a loud compression that would stun somebody for a short period of time. And then we began negotiations slowly over a 15, 20- minute period we were able to get him to stand up and show us that he didn't have a device on him.


TAPPER: And it's far from over of course. We'll have more on this ongoing investigation and more about a possible motive in these bombings, these terrorist attacks. We'll also check out -- we'll check in at the hospital where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is listed in serious condition.

The father of the bombing suspects tells CNN he is coming to the United States. He says his sons were framed and were not responsible for the bombings.

Nick Paton Walsh is live from Dagestan in a CNN exclusive. He was able to track down the father for the first time since the younger son was captured. Nick Paton Walsh joins me now.

Nick, tell us about that encounter.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. Many waiting outside his apartment in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. He drove past twice, we saw him twice, but then eventually stopped. A woman getting out of the car and going into the apartment where he live and it does appear Tamerlan, the now deceased Boston alleged bomber, lived for possibly six months last year. We went up to his car, though, while he'd stopped and asked him a couple of questions.


WALSH: I'm with CNN. I'm so sorry, sir, we just wanted to hear your story and that was all. This is a very difficult time for you. We just want to give you the chance to tell people how you feel about this. We just feel so we don't really have a chance to properly hear all you have to say about the terrible circumstances you're in.

ANZOR TSARNAEV, BOMBING SUSPECTS' FATHER: My kids never did anything. That's it.

WALSH: So your sons didn't do this?

TSARNAEV: Never, ever.

WALSH: Are you going to America?

TSARNAEV: Yes, I will go.

WALSH: When will you leave? You will forgive me, sir. I know it's a difficult time for you. I'm simply just trying to do my job here. I understand.


WALSH: When was the last time you spoke to them?

TSARNAEV: Sunday morning. That's it.

WALSH: Have you been in touch with the special services here? What do they have to say to you? OK, I understand. I understand.

(END VIDEO CLIP) WALSH: You know, deeply uncomfortable there you can see, a little angry in many ways, facing those impossible questions about his sons and a situation that no parent could even really possibly imagine happen in their lifetime -- Jake.

TAPPER: Nick, before you go, a few questions. The father says he was questioned by Russian security forces yesterday. He was released. What can you tell us about that?

WALSH: Well, that was pretty standard really for Russian security services around here. Many witnesses say he was picked up last night in the evening, taken away and then obviously released in order to be able to return to his apartment. I asked him about them, he would not say a word. And that's when he cut the interview. So clearly a matter of sensitivity here. But this is a region where Russian security services have tried to keep it incredibly tight. Often heavy-handed and repressive (INAUDIBLE) extremists and radicals. Something like this is exactly the kind of thing they would (INAUDIBLE) -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Nick Paton Walsh in Dagestan. Thank you so much. Stay safe.

Right now a heavy police presence inside Boston's Beth Israel Hospital. It's where Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is recovering after being seriously injured.

Senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is outside that hospital.

Elizabeth, federal prosecutors are inside. Could the suspect be charged today?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, that's absolutely possible. Well, maybe not today but certainly before he leaves the hospital. My colleague Pamela Brown spoke with the Justice Department official and they said that it is, you know, quite possible that he could be charged before he leaves the hospital. Now the big question is how long will he be here? All we know is that he's in serious condition.

You know, I heard -- I was there last night, heard all those gunshots. If he's got gunshot wounds and possibly needed surgery, you know, that recovery could take awhile. So we do know that federal law enforcement has been in there since last night and that they have been thinking about what kinds of -- you know, what kind of charges they want to bring against him. It seems clear that there will be federal charges and that -- those charges will include terrorism.

Now, Jake, again we don't know exactly what's going on in there. We don't know anything beyond that he's in serious condition. We don't know any other medical or surgical details -- Jake.

TAPPER: Elizabeth, how intense is the security there? How does a hospital handle security for someone like this? COHEN: You know, I'll tell you it's very intense. There's a big police presence behind me. And in fact, they're not even letting us go into the lobby to use the bathrooms or anything, which is really unusual having done, you know, tons of stories like this. They usually let the media sort of go in and out, to get a cup of coffee. They're not even allowing that here.

Now I was speaking with a doctor who frequently has worked on inmates and suspects in another city. And he said -- he said under these circumstances it was pretty likely that the suspect would be handcuffed to the bed and have two guards, one on each side of the bed, in addition to guards outside in the door in the hallway.

They're not going to leave anything to chance here. They want to make sure he doesn't hurt anyone. They also want to make sure he doesn't hurt himself. He's much more valuable alive than dead -- Jake.

TAPPER: Elizabeth Cohen, at Beth Israel Hospital, thank you so much.

As we focus on this suspect and the evil he allegedly perpetrated, we should also take a moment to remember his victims. His alleged victims. The victims of the violence in Boston. Krystle Campbell, a restaurant manager who grew up in Medford, Massachusetts. Little Martin Richard, an 8-year-old from Dorchester who liked to wear his Red Sox shirt to school. Lingzi Lu, she was earning her Master's Degree in statistics at Boston University. And then of course, here's the latest victim, Officer Sean Collier, who was shot and killed in this Thursday night shootout with the bombing suspects.

Right now 57 people are still in the hospital after Monday's bombings. Three of them are in critical condition.

With the hunt over for the suspects, investigators are focusing on the full puzzle of what motivated these two brothers described by many people as normal. What motivated them to kill? The Watertown Police chief telling CNN a short time ago that early indications are that the two suspects acted alone.

Crime and justice correspondent Joe Johns joins me from Washington, D.C.

Joe, what is the FBI telling us about their prior questioning of the older deceased suspect? We know they put out a statement saying that a foreign country, which we believe to be Russia, expressed an interest in him. What exactly is the FBI describing about that event?

JOE JOHNS, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they say yes, they questioned him. They questioned him in 2011. They looked at telephone records. They looked at travel records. They did what they could, they say. And then they went back to that country who asked for questions and said we haven't found anything. Can you give us some more information? No more information was forwarded to the United States, so the FBI pretty much dropped it. This is pro forma, it happens again and again and again from year to year to year. So it's not unusual for this to happen. It's not unusual for that person to walk away because the FBI says they didn't find anything -- Jake.

TAPPER: Joe, an intelligence source told me today that while it may not be unusual for people to do this when it comes to al Qaeda, it is rare for the Russians to reach out because they suspect somebody who is developing an extremism in relation to Chechen extremist groups. That they would reach out.

And I don't know if the FBI feels like they have given all the information they need to give on this, but if I were a victim of the terrorist attack here and I heard that the FBI, who had been told about this guy by the Russians, I don't think that that press release they put out last night would be enough.

JOHNS: Yes. Sure.

TAPPER: Do you get any sense from the FBI that they are aware that there are going to be a lot of questions for them about this?

JOHNS: I think so. And I've asked today for the FBI to come on the record and give us some more information about this individual, when they questioned him, why they decided that they had to drop it. But as you talked to authorities who've handled these kinds of requests before, they say it's all pretty common.

Now after the victims, I don't think anybody is saying that the victims ought not get more information about the situation. But the truth of the matter is that in the United States, the system is a little bit different from some other countries. You have to reach a legal standard to go forward with more investigation of certain individuals whereas other countries might be able to pretty much do anything they want.

The United States, if you don't meet a certain legal standard, well, then they're going to stop bothering you. Otherwise, it's going to be considered government harassment -- Jake.

TAPPER: Joe, speaking of legal standards, the decision was made to not read Dzhokhar Tsarnaev -- Tsarnaev, rather, his Miranda rights, at least not yet. Can you explain a little bit more about that decision? I think a lot of people, especially civil libertarians, constitutional law experts, and others who just expect that when you're arrested in this country you get you're your Miranda rights, are surprised by the decision.

JOHNS: Sure. I mean, and just to break down for people about what we're talking about here, everybody has seen on "CSI" or wherever else when police arrest you, they always say certain words, which include you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and be -- will be used against you in a court of law. Well, they didn't do that in the case of this suspect. And that's because there's something called a public safety exception.

And the public safety exception simply says that if you're concerned that there's a plot that is still afoot, if you're concerned that there's an emergency, that there could be bombs somewhere else, the authorities don't have to read you your rights at that time. And that's basically what they've gotten -- they've decided to do, Jake. But they're still eventually going to have to do it.

TAPPER: All right, Joe Johns, we'll check back with you in a bit. Thank you so much.

It's one of the most visible signs that Boston is beginning to heal. Right now Fenway Park is alive with Red Sox fans cheering on their home team and their hometown.

John Berman, who is a Boston Red Sox fan, joins me live at the ballpark.

John, I will say that I have no problem rooting against the Kansas City Royals. So I'm with you in spirit today.

JOHN BERMAN, CO-ANCHOR, EARLY START: Jake, I think everyone is with us in spirit today. I think everyone is a red sox fan today. Behind me in Fenway Park at this very moment, an incredibly special pregame ceremony happening right now. They just played Jeff Buckley singing "Hallelujah" and put images of the the Boston marathon up on the screen. And it was incredibly moving. And they're actually paying tribute right now to the first responders and law enforcement officials here in the city.

In some ways, the Red Sox sort of bookend this incredible week that's happened here in Boston. The Red Sox played on Patriots Day last Monday before the Boston marathon. The game here let out, the team left, fans streamed out of here and shortly after that is when the bombings happened at the finish line of the marathon.

Then the Red Sox left and went on a road trip. They haven't played a home game since the attacks and of course they had to cancel the game last night out of those security concerns, but they are playing today and fans have simply been streaming in here behind me yelling as they see our cameras here in solidarity with each other and with the team. Many people saying they felt it was important to be here for the city, for the people who suffered and really for themselves.

And you know, things like this are just symbols you see everywhere. Signs like this that say "Boston Strong." And indeed Boston is strong today. The players themselves are wearing special shirts. Normally the home white say Red Sox on the front. Today they don't say Red Sox, today they say "Boston." And after the game, the players are going to sign these shirts and these shirts will be auctioned off for the One Fund, that's to raise money for the victims here in this city.

The team has really rallied around the city and the victims right now in a show of support. And it's been remarkable what they have done and it is remarkable what's going on behind me right now inside that stadium -- Jake. TAPPER: All right, John Berman, we're going to check back with you in a little bit. It's -- it must be very moving for you as a Bostonian to be there.

So the question now is why. Coming up, we'll dig deeper into what could drive two young people to set off bombs and how the fed's plan to get information out of the suspect.

Our live coverage continues from Boston. Stay right here.


TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage. I'm Jake Tapper in Boston. Many questions remain about why those two brothers, the Tsarnaev brothers, allegedly set off bombs at the Boston marathon.

It's a scene no one, no one will forget.

CNN national security analyst and "Boston Globe" columnist Juliette Kayyem here with me.

Juliette, thank you for being here. What kind of evidence may have they already gathered on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev beyond the photographic evidence that we've already seen.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Right. So beyond anything that they would have acquired based on the attack itself, almost immediately when they , they would have done a thorough review of their background and in particular their travel records. So right now the question is, did the older brother -- who did he meet with on his foreign travels. It's pretty clear that the younger brother, at least right now, I'm cautious unclear, didn't have that many foreign connections. And so he might have been influenced by the older brother.

So there's going to be a case against the younger brother. And then there's going to be an investigation to see, of course, foreign contacts and what did he do when he was abroad. So a lot more to happen. And then, you know, last night there were reports of an arrests -- a couple of arrests in new Bedford. Those people are now released. There's going to be a bunch of activity in that regard to see if they had any contacts or who their contacts were in America.

TAPPER: Let's be honest about -- you worked at the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama.


TAPPER: The Russians -- the U.S. is often skeptical when the Russians talk about Chechen Islamic terrorism because they think that the -- the Russians are trying to bring the U.S. into a conflict that the U.S. does not play a role in.

KAYYEM: Right.

TAPPER: The FBI looking into the older brother is -- it's a concerning turn of events. We now know that he -- the FBI had been alerted by the Russians.

KAYYEM: That's right.

TAPPER: That this -- that this young man was an extremist, in their view, the older brother. What do you think is going on right now at the FBI?

KAYYEM: Well, I think they're reviewing that investigation and who did it. So I tend to be more cautious in terms of what happened and whether we would know things now. In particular because radicalization is really hard to say there's a moment in time when this happened and we could have stopped it then. I've been through enough both disasters and all sorts of havoc in my life that I know sometimes looking back it's easier than in the moment.

So the question is how many Chechens -- I'd be curious -- did the FBI interview at the request of Russia. If there were thousands, then it would just be well, they were just doing a sort of sweep of Chechens. If it was him in particular then what did they find and why didn't they find this? But you know right now the speculation about their radicalization is hard to come by.

We interviewed a lot of the family members. There were clear dynamics within the family as well, which often come into play in some of these investigations. So right now, you know, the FBI will come out with information and that would be sort of a key question to answer. But, you know, this -- the idea that if only they had done something better at that moment in time this could have been stopped.

It seems obvious now, but we have to see sort of what was determined and what did they determine at that time.

TAPPER: And very quickly, what are investigators, how are they trying to figure out motive? They didn't leave a message behind.

KAYYEM: Right. Right. So -- and motive is almost the hardest thing because we want to know why, why, why, why did they do this? Was it the fact that he couldn't get -- and this is all based on reports right now and I am a keen believer that what we believe in -- what we know about them today will likely modify.

TAPPER: Yes. And first reports are almost always wrong.

KAYYEM: And even, you know, a week later sometimes things get unearthed. Was it the fact that -- the older brother couldn't get citizenship here. Was it just a sense of isolation, was it family dynamics or was it in fact an ideology based on a terrorist group that motivated him to do what he did?. All of those will be answered over time. But, you know, we want a why, we want a specific why. And sometimes those aren't always knowable.

TAPPER: All right. A lot more to go on this, Juliette Kayyem. Thanks. We'll have you back.

KAYYEM: Thank you.

TAPPER: In just a few minutes. We'll be right back after the break.


TAPPER: Jubilation last night, everyone showing Boston's finest, their the gratitude and support after last night's dramatic arrest of the Boston marathon terrorist attack suspect.

I'm Jake Tapper in Boston.

With one terror suspect dead and the other in custody, Boston is a city that is finally exhaling, but soon -- soon there will be questions. Questions about how two bombs were set off at one of the world's premier sporting events and questions about how we're going to keep everyone safe next time.

Dan Donovan is the director of sport and entertain for Guide Post Solutions. He's worked as a crowd safety expert for the Olympics in Sydney and in Atlanta.

Dan, thanks for joining us. Could we have done anything different this week in Boston? What did these suspects know that organizers apparently did not plan for?

DAN DONOVAN, GUIDE POST SOLUTIONS: Well, I don't know if we can say the organizers didn't plan for. It's a matter of we've got a public gathering area much like Centennial Olympic Park when we had the Atlanta Olympics and we've got the finish line in Boston. And these individuals took advantage of a public gathering area that the event organizers did the best they could. The police had checked the exact area hours before the incident took place. So I'm not sure we can say that they didn't do the right things. The question is what are we going to do in the future as it it relates to these areas?

TAPPER: You know, Dan, one shoe bombing attempt means that millions of people have to take off their shoes at the airport for the rest of our lives. Now that someone has shown how this can be done with innocent-looking backpacks, what do you think possibly law enforcement experts might start recommending? Certainly we can't frisk people in backpacks walking down the street, but what can be done? What do you think will be -- what actions do you think will be taken at future sporting events?

DONOVAN: I think the event organizers working with their contract security teams, working with the technologies that are available and working with law enforcement are going to look at the areas that are high concentration that are high risk areas. And this incident on Monday changed the risk profile for these events. Just like you mentioned the shoe bomber did for air travelers.

Now it's going to be, are we going to close off certain areas and make sure all guests are screened in those areas? Are they going to have to be ticketed? Are there going to have to be credentials? Are we going to impact the businesses that are -- that are looking forward to the revenues that come from being in those locations?

So there's going to be a lot of challenges running events in these open environments like a marathon. There's 26 miles, it's going to be very difficult, but there are a lot of things that event organization working with law enforcement can do.

TAPPER: All right. Dan Donovan, thank you so much.

The Boston Red Sox are doing their part to help their hometown heal. How the home team is bringing a sense of normalcy to the heartbroken city. We'll head back live to Fenway Park. That's just in a few minutes.


TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks in Boston. The city is beginning to return to normal and we can really get a sense of that at Fenway Park where the Red Sox are back in action today. But before the first pitch, there was a solemn moment of silence.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we think of our 176 adults and children who were injured, including MBTA officer Richard Donahue, won't you join us as we observe a moment of silence, contemplation and prayer and in particular for the 58 who are still hospitalized.

Thank you. We wish each of you a speedy recovery.


TAPPER: And now let's go back to John Berman at the ballpark.

Johnny B, I know you can't see me but I'm actually wearing a Red Sox hat. I just want you to know that.

BERMAN: That warms my heart, Jake. And in fact, behind me right now in Fenway they're playing the song "Dirty Water" which is the Red Sox theme song. And the chorus goes, "I love that dirty water, Boston you're my home." And I think a lot of Americans whether they've lived here or not ever are saying today that Boston, you're my home.

It was a remarkable ceremony here at the beginning of the game. The Red Sox brought out on the field the entire teams, the Red Sox and Kansas City Royals. Then they also walked on to the field some victims of the bombing one week ago and then they paid tribute to first responders who were on the field.

The governor, the police commissioner, all part of this remarkable celebration. And then what the Red Sox said really has become a new Boston tradition as of a couple days ago when the Boston Bruins did it. The entire crowd sang the "Star Spangled Banner" in unison. And I have to say, I think you're going to see that as something happens almost forever here in Boston.

Everyone came together. And then, Jake, I have to tell you this is a piece of video we can't show you. The most boisterous moment may have been when David Ortiz, the Red Sox great, designated hitter, Big Papi as he's called, took the microphone and swore in front of the entire crowd. But I think he spoke for a lot of people. He said, he said, this is our blanking city. That was David Ortiz. And it was very remarkable and people are holding signs like this and say "Boston Strong," and that is the sentiment I think that some 35,000 plus people are feeling right here behind me -- Jake.

TAPPER: All right. A wonderful moment at Fenway Park. John, we'll come back to you later this afternoon.

Now turning to the subject of domestic terror, it poses a big challenge for any administration, obviously. MIT professor and security expert Jim Walsh, he'll join me next to talk about the Obama team's handling of the Boston bombings.


TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage of the terrorist attacks in Boston. The Boston bombing suspect's uncle is speaking out this morning. He told CNN in an exclusive interview more about Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Yesterday he called them losers, famously, but today he's taking a somewhat different tone. Take a listen.


RUSLAN TSARNI, SUSPECTS' UNCLE: I'm relieved -- I'm relieved that he's alive. First of all for that there's now a chance to find out who was behind it. Who was -- their mentors of all of it. And how possibly could he get involved and do this harm to innocent people. And second of all, I stress that there's a chance for Dzhokhar to seek forgiveness.


TAPPER: That was the Boston bombing suspect's uncle talking about his nephew.

Emotions are still running high here in Boston and elsewhere now that the surviving bombing suspect is in custody. There may be a temptation to rush to judgment, expert say.

Jim Walsh is an international security expert and professor at MIT.

Professor, this is your home. How has this affected you personally?

You know, personally I have run the gamut of emotions. You know, shock, anger, then --

TAPPER: It took place on your campus.

JIM WALSH, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EXPERT: You know, a fellow employee at MIT was killed two blocks from my office. I was teaching that day. And only a few hours later that person was assassinated. And also I have had different emotions. And I done know that I'm still fully aware of where I'm at on this. When I saw the first video of the two suspects, that had an impact on me. It was chilling.

You know, before we talked about them as a category, they were terrorists or they were lone wolves.

But to actually see a flesh and blood human walking down that street in that video, we're showing it. And finally I think I've been overwhelmed by sadness. Sadness for the families of the victims. Sadness for the parents, you know, it's a terrible thing that didn't have to happen and I think sadness is the overwhelming emotion I've been feeling recently.

TAPPER: President Obama spoke yesterday and he talked about Boston's resilience, he praised law enforcement. But there was something else he said that struck you.

WALSH: Absolutely. In a different life I used to work on the problem of hate crimes. And sandwiched in between was an important line not only should we avoid rushing to judgment about motivation, but we shouldn't blame entire groups. And that really stuck out at me in between the other -- sandwich in between the other stuff. Sadly after 9/11, some people's anger turned to revenge or they used it as an opportunity to advance a political agenda.

And in particular I think three groups are sort of vulnerable right now because there were hundreds of hate crimes including some murders after 9/11 and those groups would include Muslims, obviously, immigrants. Today we had a columnist in the Boston newspaper say some pretty unpleasant things about immigrants. And then finally, shockingly, Sikhs.

Now you may recognize Sikhs walking down the street with a turbine or head dress. They are not Muslim, they are not Muslim. They're Sikh. They are -- they don't live -- predominantly from India. The Indians have caught --

TAPPER: Even if they were Muslims.

WALSH: Make no choice --

TAPPER: They are from India.

WALSH: To attack someone simply because they look different so I think, you know, we're enjoying at the Ford moment here in Boston and then the United States of America. And if we don't have to tarnish that moment, then we all have to keep ours open not now, just for the suspects but eyes open and hears open, in case we hear something that's hateful that might lead to an act of violence. And I hope we avoid that.

TAPPER: Well extremism, for whatever reason, is extremism.

WALSH: Completely unjustified. Well, these are all innocent people just as the folks on marathon day were completely innocent.

TAPPER: Let's talk about the larger issue of the Obama administration and their handling of this horrible crisis. As an analyst, what do you think? How did they do?

WALSH: Yes, you know, at least from the outside, and we aren't going to know, right, we aren't going to know for another six months or a year when there are reports written, but it looked -- I was there on 9/11. I took -- I was in front of a camera on 9/11. It felt a real sea change. I think the training and the investments and the practice and the interagency work -- all came together. And I thought people -- it was sobering. I think people were calmed by it.

And the city of Boston responded. Everyone stayed indoors. I know, I was driving around. Everyone responded and did what they were told to do. So at least so far, yes, mistakes were made. Leaks -- but in the big picture, they did extremely well.

TAPPER: Yes. And you could also, of course, see the results of 9/11 in the sense of Boston is a real, for want of a better term, it's a real surveillance city. There are cameras all over the city and those cameras, whatever you think of them in terms of civil liberties, those cameras helped the investigation.

WALSH: Right. And, you know, there are a lot of things that exist today that didn't exist on 9/11. Facebook, camera phones that can take pictures. The way people go and take pictures of food and restaurants. You know, they're taking pictures at the -- at the finish line. So I think there's a lot more data to help law enforcement than there was a decade ago when this was all brand new.

TAPPER: All right. Professor, thank you so much. And good luck and I know -- I know Boston and MIT will be back to what they were if not stronger.

WALSH: Thank you, Jake.

TAPPER: As a town recovers, still many questions linger. We'll hear from an emergency worker about the fertilizer plant explosion in central Texas. That's coming up next.


TAPPER: Good afternoon. I'm Jake Tapper. We'll get back to our ongoing coverage of the bombing investigation here in Boston. But first let's get an update on Wednesday's explosion in Texas.

Questions remaining after a fertilizer plant blew up in the town of West, Texas, rocking homes 50 miles away. Authorities are still treating the location as a crime scene. Search and recovery efforts are to wind down today. Fourteen bodies have been recovered. Five of those killed were voluntary firefighters.

Emergency worker Bruce Reed spoke to CNN's Anderson Cooper about the horrific explosion and aftermath. Take a listen.


BRUCE REED, EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICE: I can tell you that there's absolutely no words that I possess that can convey adequately what I saw. I can tell you what I saw last night was -- it went from my hometown and my reality and my existence to a war zone in an instant. And I don't -- I guess I haven't even had time to process that yet.

ANDERSON COOPER, ANCHOR, AC 360: Your house is gone?

REED: Gone. Yes. I mean, it's -- you know, the ever pressure from blast actually blew the doors off the hinges and my daughter's room has glass fragments embedded in the wall. I mean, it's gone.

COOPER: And you've lost friends, colleagues, close friends.

REED: Yes. Many. I woke up this morning with a -- with a changed reality that I'm never West home and Texas again in my life. You know? I'm not. And -- being with the EMS, you know, you don't know how people get your phone numbers and I'm on the board with West and that's why I'm speaking with you. With West EMS I have received phone calls from London, from Saudi, from Australia, from South Africa. From literally all over the globe of this outpouring of support and it's absolutely amazing.

COOPER: And that's been important to you?

REED: Yes, I mean that's what we wanted to convey or that I wanted to convey as a member of West EMS.

COOPER: You can feel that support?

REED: It goes beyond that. Whenever you are at the worst time in your life that nobody can understand and you're in the one place that means everything to you and you realize that the entire world takes a pause to say, we're sorry, and is there anything we can do to help, is all the way to ground zero, every one of us are incredibly humbled and grateful for that outpouring of support and thanks and love.

In a situation like this, you feel like you're alone, but it is incredibly humbling to have everything that everyone has done for us. I don't know where to begin in saying thank you. And I don't know where to begin in saying, you know, we are West.

COOPER: Crisis volunteer, everybody is a volunteer here. Fire department, EMS. People who didn't have to go to that blast went to that blast. People who could have, you know, stayed at home didn't have to go.

REED: They were all volunteer.


REED: There is not one person -- there was not one person that got paid, not one person that was told. They all just went.

COOPER: People went knowing that could blow.

REED: It's our job. When other people are running away, by nature, our job is to run towards what people are running away from because we have to -- we have to do what we have to do. And by nature that's what we do.


TAPPER: That was Anderson Cooper with West Texas paramedic Bruce Reed.

People in West are waiting to get the all clear to return to their homes.

The horror here in Boston began on Monday and it ended last night with gunfire.

We have it all on tape. Coming up, an exclusive look at the final moments when the authorities finally got their man. We'll get back to our special live coverage from Boston next.


TAPPER: Welcome back to CNN's continuing coverage of the crisis or the terrorist attack in Boston. Boston is a city that's been through a lot this week, the ordeal began Monday of course. And last night after days of anguish it ended rather quickly, but certainly not quietly.

Brian Todd now with a recap of the final moments of the standoff that brought down the surviving Boston terrorist attack suspect.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the end, after the gunfire and the flash bangs, authorities showed their determination to capture Dzhokhar Tsarnaev alive. Listen to officers negotiating with the suspect as he's hold up inside a boat in a backyard in Watertown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come out on your own terms.

TODD: We snaked through alleys and back lots to get to within a couple hundred yards of the boat. As we shot this exclusive video, police rushed us saying, we were in the crossfire zone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Clear out, OK? Come on, I said, please.

TODD: It just minutes later that police captured Tsarnaev. He had lost blood, was weakened but authorities say he had put up a fight in that backyard, engaging them with gunfire.

The entire neighborhood was on lockdown. Residents terrified as law enforcement went door to door. After the standoff, we spoke to neighbors.

(On camera): Here on Cyprus Street, this is one of the houses where police were combing through the neighborhood looking for the suspect. This is Eddie Beck's house, he took us through what it was like when SWAT teams came through here.

EDDIE BECK, WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENT: They came in, they searched the living room area, dining room, went through all the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen area.

TODD: They searched cabinets and things like that?

BECK: No, didn't go through cabinets or anything like that but they did go through all the bedrooms, closet doors, then they made their way through the back here.

TODD (voice-over): Beck shared his own footage of the SWAT teams combing through his house. During these moments, they didn't know where Tsarnaev was or whether he was carrying explosives on his body. Beck got a chill just thinking about it.

BECK: Knowing that they had him surrounded and so close to our neighborhood, it made us think that he might have been here at nighttime and they kind of flushed him out into that area.

TODD: Vivyan Stevens lives by herself, also very close to the house where Tsarnaev was cornered.

VIVYAN STEVENS, WATERTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS RESIDENT: I just heard a boom, I didn't know what it was, and then I heard a lot of gunshots. And it happened like right behind my house.

TODD (on camera): How do you feel right now that it's over?

STEVENS: Yes. It is surreal. I don't really -- I think I'm numb. I don't really feel -- I guess I can't believe all this has happened. I know it's happening, but -- I mean, I am very happy that, you know, it is over and they got him.

TODD (voice-over): A sentiment echoed by thousands of her neighbors in Watertown, cheering police as they pulled out after the arrest.

Brian Todd, CNN, Watertown, Massachusetts.


TAPPER: Now that the hunt for the suspects is over, the search for answers about a motive intensifies. The latest on the bombing investigation as our live coverage from Boston continues.