Boston police: Bomb suspects had sizable cache
BOSTON — As churches paused on Sunday to mourn the dead and console the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing, the city's police commissioner said the two suspects had such a large cache of weapons that they were probably planning other attacks.
After the two brothers engaged in a gunbattle with police early Friday, authorities found many unexploded homemade bombs at the scene, along with more than 250 rounds of ammunition.
Police Commissioner Ed Davis said the stockpile was “as dangerous as it gets in urban policing.”
“We have reason to believe, based upon the evidence that was found at that scene — the explosions, the explosive ordnance that was unexploded and the firepower that they had — that they were going to attack other individuals. That's my belief at this point.” Davis told CBS's “Face the Nation.”
On “Fox News Sunday,” he said authorities cannot be positive that there are not more explosives somewhere that have not been found. But the people of Boston are safe, he insisted.
The suspects in the twin bombings are ethnic Chechen brothers from southern Russia — 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan. Their motive remains unclear.
The older brother was killed during a getaway attempt. The younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been in serious condition since his capture on Friday from a tarp-covered boat in a suburban Boston backyard.
Churches offer solace
Across the rattled streets of Boston, churches opened their doors to remember the dead and ease the grief of the living.
At the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in South Boston, photographs of the three people killed in the attack and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer slain on Thursday were displayed on the altar, each face illuminated by a glowing white pillar candle.
“I hope we can all heal and move forward,” said Kelly McKernan, who was crying as she left the service. “And obviously, the Mass today was a first step for us in that direction.”
A six-block segment of Boylston Street, where the bombs were detonated, remained closed Sunday. But city officials were mapping out a plan to reopen it.
Mayor Thomas Menino said that once the scene is released by the FBI, the city will follow a five-step process, including environmental testing and a safety assessment of buildings. The exact timetable was uncertain.
Boston's historic Trinity Church could not host services because it was within the crime scene, but the congregation was invited to worship at the Temple Israel synagogue. The FBI allowed church officials a half-hour on Saturday to go inside to gather the priests' robes, the wine and bread for Sunday's service.
Trinity's Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd III offered a prayer for those who were slain “and for those who must rebuild their lives without the legs that they ran and walked on last week.”
“So where is God when the terrorists do their work?” Lloyd asked. “God is there, holding us and sustaining us. God is in the pain the victims are suffering, and the healing that will go on. God is with us as we try still to build a just world, a world where there will not be terrorists doing their terrible damage.”
Near the crime scene, Dan and Keri Arone were pushing their 11-week-old daughter in a stroller when they stopped along Newbury Street, a block from the bombing site, to watch investigators in white jumpsuits scour the pavement. Wearing his bright blue marathon jacket, Dan Arone said he had crossed the finish line 40 minutes before the explosions.
The Waltham, Mass., couple visited the area to leave behind pairs of their running shoes among the bouquets of flowers, handwritten signs and other gifts at a makeshift memorial on Boylston Street, near the police barriers.
“I thought maybe we'd somehow get some closure,” Dan Arone said of leaving behind the sneakers. “But I don't feel any closure yet.”
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was tracing the suspects' weapons to try to determine how they were obtained.
Neither of the brothers had permission to carry a gun. Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert Haas said it was unclear whether either of them ever applied for a gun permit, and the applications are not considered public records.
But the younger brother would have been denied a permit based on his age. Only people 21 and older are allowed gun licenses in Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, surgeons in a Cambridge hospital said the Boston transit police officer wounded in a shootout with the suspects had lost nearly all his blood, and his heart had stopped from a single gunshot wound that severed three major blood vessels in his right thigh.
Richard Donohue, 33, was in critical but stable condition. He is sedated and on a breathing machine but opened his eyes, moved his hands and feet, and squeezed his wife's hand Sunday.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is asking residents to observe a moment of silence on Monday at the time the first of two bombs exploded. The one-minute tribute is scheduled for 2:50 p.m., exactly a week after the attacks. It will be followed by the ringing of bells in Boston and elsewhere in Massachusetts.