The news came with Boston in a state of high excitement over conflicting information on whether a suspect was in custody.
A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation told the AP around midday 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.
Scores of victims remained hospitalized, many with grievous injuries. Fourteen were listed in critical condition. Doctors who treated the wounded corroborated reports that the bombs were packed with shrapnel and blew up close to the ground.
The chief of trauma surgery at Boston Medical Center said most of the injuries his hospital treated were to the legs.
“We have a lot of lower-extremity injuries, so I think the damage was low to the ground and wasn’t up,” Dr. Peter Burke said. “The patients who do have head injuries were blown into things or were hit by fragments that went up.”
The blasts killed 8-year-old Martin Richard of Boston and 29-year-old Krystle Campbell of Medford. The Shenyang Evening News, a state-run Chinese newspaper, identified the third victim as Lu Lingzi. She was a graduate student at Boston University.
A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the courthouse Wednesday midafternoon, the U.S. Marshals Service said, and security officials swept the area. Employees were allowed back in about an hour later.