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The Search For Answers In Boston: Why? How? Anyone Else?

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
April 20, 2013

(Most recent update: 8:45 a.m. ET)

With the capture Friday night of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old surviving suspect in the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the story moves into a new phase — one of trying to answer critical questions.

– Why?

– How?

– Was anyone else involved?

Authorities hope to get many answers from Tsarnaev himself. As NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston said on All Things Considered, with the death earlier Friday of the suspect’s 26-year-old brother and alleged accomplice, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, investigators hope Dzhokhar will tell them “if there are other people involved [and] if perhaps there are other bombs elsewhere.”

Tsarnaev remained in a Boston-area hospital Saturday. Authorities say he had multiple injuries, presumably from the two gun battles police say he was engaged in Friday. An MIT University campus officer was killed late Thursday, another local police officer was wounded during a manhunt that had Watertown, Mass., and much of the Boston metropolitan area under lock down most of Friday. The shooting of the officers followed the heavy toll from the marathon bombings — three dead and more than 170 people wounded.

As NPR’s Carrie Johnson added Friday night, a Department of Justice official tells her that Tsarnaev will not be read his Miranda rights for now. “We plan to invoke the public safety exception to Miranda in order to question the suspect extensively about other potential explosive devices or accomplices and to gain critical intelligence,” the official said.

There are reports that at least three people who lived in New Bedford, Mass., near where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended college, are being questioned. Authorities also detained at least one man in the early hours of Friday as they searched for Tsarnaev.

We’ll be following the news. Come back to this post for the latest developments, and look for related news in other posts throughout the day. (Check this note for how we cover stories on days like this.)

Update at 8:45 a.m. ET. More On The “Public Safety Exemption”:

NBC News writes: “The exemption can be invoked when information is needed to protect public safety. In this instance, the government believes it’s vital to find out if Tsarnaev planted any other explosives before his capture or whether others might have plotted with him to do so.”

Update at 8:20 a.m. ET. Also Hoping To Get Answers From Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s Wife:

On Weekend Edition Saturday, NPR’s Tom Gjelten said authorities are also hoping that the wife of Tamerlan Tsarnaev will help the answer critical questions.

The day’s early headlines:

– “Dzhokar Tsarnaev … In Serious Condition” At Heavily Guarded Boston-area Hospital.” (CNN)

– “Watertown Resident, Who Lifted Boat’s Bloody Tarp, Led To Capture.” (WBUR)

– “Photos Force Suspects’ Move, Breaking Bombing Case.” (Boston Herald)

– “Boston Bombing Suspects Wanted To Fit In, Friends Say.” (Reuters)

– “Life In America Unraveled For Brothers.” (The Wall Street Journal)

Note: As happens when stories such as this are developing, there will likely be reports that turn out to be mistaken. Wednesday, for example, there were reports from CNN, the AP, WBUR and others that authorities either had arrested a suspect or were about to do that. It turned out that no one had been arrested or taken into custody. We will focus on news being reported by NPR, other news outlets with expertise, and statements from authorities who are in a position to know what’s going on. And if some of that information turns out to be wrong, we’ll update.

Take me back to the top of this post. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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