Law enforcement sources tell CNN that police now believe Jussie Smollett paid two brothers to orchestrate an assault on him.
Surveillance video from Jan. 28 obtained from a Chicago-area beauty supply store appears to show the two men connected to the incident purchasing a ski mask, sunglasses, a red hat and other items the day before the alleged assault.
They paid for the items in cash, according to the owner, who did not want to be identified.
The two men questioned by police — identified as brothers Olabinjo Osundairo and Abimbola Osundairo — were initially arrested on Feb. 13 but released without charges after police cited the discovery of "new evidence." They've met with police and prosecutors at a Chicago courthouse, police spokesman Tom Ahern said.
The two are no longer suspects at this time, Chicago police have said. The brothers' attorney, Gloria Schmidt, told reporters Wednesday that her clients had not accepted a plea deal or immunity. Police sources said the brothers are cooperating with law enforcement.
"You don't need immunity when you have the truth, " she said.
In a joint statement issued to CNN affiliate WBBM, the men said: "We are not racist. We are not homophobic, and we are not anti-Trump. We were born and raised in Chicago and are American citizens."
One of the men has appeared on "Empire," Guglielmi said. A police source also told CNN the men had a previous affiliation with Smollett but did not provide additional details.