Updated 2:45 a.m. Photos of two men suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon were released by the FBI as they sought the public’s help in identifying the men. Additional enhanced photos were released Friday morning.
By Thursday evening, in response, the FBI had received a flood of calls. Checking out the leads and figuring out the accuracy of the tips may take some time. NBC News reported that investigators will look first at names reported by multiple callers.
Video and photos show the two men walking together on the sidewalk along the marathon route. One man is seen wearing a dark baseball hat, light-brown pants, dark sunglasses, and carrying a black backpack. The second man is shown wearing a backwards white baseball hat, dark jacket, jeans, and carrying a white backpack.
The FBI said that footage showed the man in the backwards baseball cap setting down his backpack in front of the Forum Restaurant on Boylston Street.
The two men “appear to be associated,” said Richard DesLauriers, the FBI special agent in charge of the investigation. He described them as “armed, and extremely dangerous.” The FBI made the photos public and they can be viewed at FBI.gov.
“Today we are enlisting the public’s help,” DesLauriers said. "No bit of information...is too small for us to see."
“We strongly encourage those who were at the Forum Restaurant,” to contact authorities. He also said that members of the public should not attempt to apprehend the suspects themselves.
"Do not take any action on your own," DesLauriers said. "Somebody out there knows these individuals."
Law enforcement officials warned that that only the photos released by the FBI on its website, FBI.gov, should be used by the public.
DesLauriers added that other images that proliferated online Wednesday, “unnecessarily divert the public’s attention in the wrong direction.”
Investigators had identified two people they wanted to question seen in surveillance footage recorded from a Lord & Taylor Department Store security camera on Wednesday.
The footage showed a man wearing a baseball cap talking on a cellphone before placing a bag at the site of the second bomb, the FBI said.
Officials had said that the man in the video was about six-feet-tall and wearing a white, or off-white baseball cap.
While federal authorities asked for witnesses to share their photos and videos with police, it also warned that criminals could exploit the outpouring of goodwill to Boston to commit fraud.
“Social Media is another avenue criminals use to solicit donations. According to various reports, a Twitter account was created soon after the explosions that resembled a legitimate Boston Marathon account,” the FBI said in a statement Thursday.
Law enforcement officials warned that emails contaminated with malware and viruses had been sent from cyber criminals claiming to be associated with the Boston Marathon.
Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon Monday afternoon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 170 people.
"There is no additional danger that we are aware of right now," DesLauriers said about additional attacks.