Following a bomb scare that cleared Boston’s John Joseph Moakley federal courthouse for more than an hour on Wednesday afternoon, officials cancelled a press briefing on the investigation into the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings but made no arrests.
Federal authorities also swatted down news reports that a suspect had been taken into custody. "No one has been arrested. No one is in custody," said Brandy Donini-Melanson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office.
The day turned hectic during the early afternoon, following the reports that a suspect was in custody and being taken to the courthouse. By 3 p.m., dozens of reporters and spectators had gathered outside the building, the crowd extending down the street and into a parking lot.
Mike Murphy, 31, of Charlestown, Mass., brought his bagpipes and played Amazing Grace. "I just thought it would be a patriotic thing to show my support," he said.
But a little after 3 p.m., court personnel told people in the building to clear out because of the bomb threat. By 4:15 p.m., circuit executive Gary Wente emerged to announce that only court staffers would be allowed to re-enter the building.
Several minutes later, Christina DiIorio-Sterling, also a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney, sent an email to news organizations saying: "Daily Media briefing on Marathon bombings has been postponed in light of today’s events at the Moakley Courthouse."
Monday’s explosion killed three people and injured 176, many of them gravely. A multi-agency investigation quickly swung into high gear.
By Wednesday, authorities had disclosed that video images taken at the scene contained images of a suspect, according to numerous reports. Officials were "very close" in the investigation, The Boston Globe reported.
Sheri Qualters can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.