BOSTON -- Investigators poring over photos and video from the Boston Marathon have an image of a potential suspect in the deadly bombing but do not know his name and have not questioned him, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.
The news came with Boston in a state of high excitement over a possible breakthrough in the case and conflicting information over whether a suspect was in custody. Police and reporters converged on the federal courthouse in the afternoon.
Several news organizations reported earlier in the day that a suspect had been identified from surveillance video taken at a department store midway between the sites of Monday's two bomb blasts, which killed three people and wounded more than 170.
A law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity and was not authorized to discuss the case publicly confirmed only that investigators had an image of a potential suspect and had not established his identity.
Also Wednesday, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told the AP that a suspect was in custody. The official, who was not authorized to divulge details of the investigation, said the suspect was expected in federal court.
But the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in Boston said no arrests had been made.
"Contrary to widespread reporting, there have been no arrests made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack,'' the FBI said in a statement. "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.''
The official who spoke to the AP about someone being taken into custody stood by the information even after it was disputed.
A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the courthouse in midafternoon, the U.S. Marshals Service said, and security officials were sweeping the area. Workers were allowed back into the courthouse a short time later.