CNN has reported that investigators believe they've identified a possible suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, based off of video footage of someone leaving a bag at the site of the second explosion. Note, 6 p.m.: This turned into an all-time media shitshow. These were our chronological updates as it played it.

It's not a surprise, considering this one one of the most photographed and filmed attacks in history, but police have apparently identified someone based on surveillance footage from the Lord & Taylor across the street from the second bomb. TV news footage was also used.


The package dropped by the subject supposedly resembles the fragments discovered by investigators, and leaked earlier today. These forensics are presumably more advanced than the internet's crowd-sourced "find everyone with a backpack" search.

CNN is now reporting that an arrest has already been made.

The most recent, now-deleted Lord & Taylor tweet:

Confusion! NBC and CBS are explicitly reporting that no arrest has been made. CNN, the Boston Herald, the AP, and Fox all report that the suspect is in custody.

And now CNN reports that there has been no arrest.

As of 2:35 p.m. EDT, here's what's being reported. CNN: No arrest, no one in custody. Globe: Suspect in custody. Herald: Suspect arrested. Fox News: Suspect arrested. NBC: "Solid leads." CBS: No arrest. AP: Suspect in custody.

Earlier, CNN's John King reported that the suspect was a "dark-skinned male." CBS News now reports that the suspect is a "white male, wearing white baseball cap on backwards, gray hoodie and black jacket." This probably means the suspect is female.

The FBI just released a statement that says, essentially, SMH:

"Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting."

Actual quote from CNN: "This individual may be known or unknown."

Every media person in the universe is outside the courthouse:

As of 3:00 p.m., your headlines. CNN: "We have reason to believe someone may have been identified." Globe: "Suspect is in custody amid conflicting reports." Herald: No arrest. CBS: Authorities seeking man on video. NBC: Authorities have a face but not a name. ABC: Authorities close to identifying suspect. AP [sic]: "Feds deny reports of Boston suspect is arrested."

Clear out an entire wing in the Newseum for these (via @dbrauer and @buzzblog):


False alarm on the hospital thing. Via the Globe:

The Brigham & Women's incident is apparently unrelated; a driver who locked his keys inside the car was helped by a valet parking attendant noticed there were gas cans inside the car and alerted security.

Via our friends at Gawker, this was not CNN's finest hour:

The courthouse evacuation is apparently due to a "Code Red," confirmed by police to be a bomb threat.

A CNN spokesperson has addressed how its earlier report of an arrest came to be:

This media scorecard by Hilary Sargent at

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See also: Today's Boston Bombing Media Shitshow, In 90 Seconds