Throughout the day, we'll be updating with the latest news about the two explosions Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The blasts killed three people and injured about 180. We'll also be publishing related posts as the day continues. (See this note about how we cover events such as this.)
11:24 a.m. ET. Where Things Stand.
INVESTIGATION: While there has been no arrest as of this hour, The Boston Globe says authorities believe they are " 'very close' in their pursuit of the bomber," according to "an official briefed on the investigation ... who declined to be named." The Globe also reports it has been told by an official familiar with the case that authorities have images of two individuals who were seen carrying bags that might have contained the bombs — and that those images may be released later Thursday. Later Thursday morning, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed that "there is some video" of two men that has raised questions for the FBI — and that investigators want to speak with those individuals. She did not call them suspects.
FBI investigators have said the key clue to finding who's responsible will likely come from a photo or video taken by a spectator. At the website of the FBI's Boston bureau, officials have posted this appeal for help: "If you have any information that could be of assistance, please call 1-800-CALL-FBI (prompt #3). No detail is too small."
EMERGENCY DECLARATION: "President Obama has signed an emergency declaration for the state of Massachusetts — a move that frees up federal funding to help with crisis management," WBUR writes.
INTERFAITH SERVICE: The public was invited to an Interfaith service Thursday morning at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross. President Obama, who will speak, is there with first lady Michelle Obama. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and a former governor of Massachusetts, is in attendance. We've put a copy of the program for the service below.
Update at 11:24 a.m. ET. A Mention Of The Tragedy In Texas:
Rabbi Ronne Friedman of Boston's Temple Israel includes a mention of those killed and injured Wednesday night in West, Texas, where a fertilizer plant exploded. "Our arms are wide enough to hold you as well," he says.
Update at 11:22 a.m. ET. "May You Run And Not Grow Weary":
At the interfaith service, Rev. Nancy Taylor of Old South Church tells how her place of worship holds a service for Boston marathoners each year. The church sends the runners off with these words from the Prophet Isaiah: "May you run and not grow weary, may you walk and not grow faint." On Monday, she says, she saw marathoners running "toward the danger" and sacrificing themselves for others.
Update at 11:14 a.m. ET. Mayor Menino Has Never Loved Boston More Than Now:
His voice choking, Mayor Thomas Menino (D) says that after the bombings, "love has covered this resilient city. I have never loved it and its people more than I do today." He praises "the brave ones who felt the blast and still raced to the smoke." The love and the bravery gives those in Boston, the victims and their families the strength to carry on, he says. "We triumphed over that hateful act," Menino adds. Reminder: We've posted the program for the interfaith service below.
Update at 11:08 a.m. ET. Thanks For Those Who Helped The Victims:
After praying for the victims, Eminence Methodios, head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Boston, thanks God "for the police and firefighters, the National Guard, for the doctors and nurses, for all who responded selflessly and courageously."
Update at 11:05 a.m. ET. "We Will Rise":
"Through the blur of each other's tears, we will rise in one community ... resolutely, as one," says Rev. Liz Walker of Roxbury Presbyterian Church, as she opens the interfaith service.
Update at 10:55 a.m. ET. Interfaith Service Is About To Start:
The president and first lady Michelle Obama just took their seats in Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross. WhiteHouse.gov is among the websites streaming coverage of the service.
Update at 10:45 a.m. ET. FBI Wants To Speak With Two Men, Napolitano Confirms:
"Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the FBI wants to speak with two men seen in at least one video from the Boston Marathon, but she says she isn't calling them suspects," The Associated Press reports.
The wire service adds that "without providing details of the men's appearance or what the video shows, Napolitano told the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday that 'there is some video that raised the question' of two men the FBI would like to interview but said she wouldn't described them as suspects. Napolitano said it's still unclear whether the bombs that exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon were the work of foreign or domestic terrorists. She said the investigation is continuing 'apace.' "
Update at 10:25 a.m. ET. President To Meet With Victims, First Responders:
Reporters traveling with the president, including NPR's Ari Shapiro, report he plans to spend some time today meeting with people who were injured in the bombings and with the first responders who rushed to help the victims.
Update at 10:10 a.m. ET. People Lined Up Hours Ahead Of Service, And A Look At The Program:
There were people in line as early as 5 a.m. ET for the interfaith service, WBUR reports.
The program for this morning's service shows it will begin with the hymn "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty," that the Boston Children's Chorus will sing Patty Griffin's "Up to the Mountain" and that there will be "reflections" from both Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and President Obama.
Update at 9:10 a.m. ET. Images Of Two Individuals May Soon Be Released:
"Authorities have clear video images of two separate suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings carrying black bags at each explosion site and are planning to release the images today in an appeal for the public's help in identifying the men," The Boston Globe reports. It cites "an official briefed on the case" as its source.
-- Wednesday's Developments.
-- Tuesday's Developments.
-- NPR's Coverage.
-- WBUR's Coverage.
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.
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