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FBI conducting terrorism investigation

Bombs explode near Boston Marathon finish line

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President Obama said Tuesday that the FBI is investigating the bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon as an act of terrorism.

The FBI has taken the lead in the investigation of twin bombings near the finish line area on Monday afternoon. The blasts killed at least three people, including a child, and injured 179 more, officials said.

Police searched a home in the Boston suburb of Revere in connection with the investigation.

The first explosion occurred at the Marathon Sports store on Boylston Street just before the finish line, at about 2:50 p.m. The second explosion went off about 10 seconds later near a bank about 550 feet further back on Boylston Street.

Police investigated a third incident at the JFK Library at about 4:15 p.m., but that now appears to be a mechanical fire and not a bomb.

An intelligence official said two more devices were found and are being dismantled, the AP reported.

The Boston Marathon's official Twitter account confirmed that bombs were to blame.

"There were two bombs that exploded near the finish line in today's Boston Marathon," the marathon officials Tweeted.

The Boston police commissioner disputed reports in the early evening that a suspect was in custody. But he said police were speaking to several people.

The FBI in Boston called the case as a "potential terrorism investigation," the Boston Globe reported.

Several buildings, including hotels, were on lockdown.

Video and photographs from the scene show smoke, emergency vehicles, broken glass, twisted metal, and several injured, bloodied people.

First responders carried bloody victims to medical tents and ambulances.

"Somebody's leg flew by my head," a spectator, who gave his name as John Ross, told the Boston Herald. "I gave my belt to stop the blood."

Runners, spectators, and race officials were crying as they left the area, the AP reported.

Witnesses and reporters at the scene described massive casualties and blown-out storefronts. Some of the victims had lost limbs, according to reports.

The Boston Police Department confirmed three dead and many more wounded. Eight hospitals reported treating a total of 124 people

President Obama spoke to the nation at about 6:10 p.m. He said that the government does not have all the answers yet.

"We will find out who did this. We'll find out why they did this," Obama said. "Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice."

Although the president did not use the word "terrorism," the White House is calling it that.

"When multiple devices go off, that's an act of terrorism," a senior administration official told Fox News.

Federal agents, including with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, have responded to the scenes to participate in the investigation, according to several reports.

Boston police officers told reporters that ATF agents appeared to be pushing everyone back away from the blast sites to lead the probe.

Authorities cleared people far away from the area because of concern that more bombs could go off.

"This is a horrific day in Boston," Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement. "My thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured.

The FAA designated a two-mile-radius no-fly zone over the marathon finish area.

"The FAA put a ground stop in place briefly to change the runway configuration at Logan Airport, but has lifted it," the FAA said in a statement.

Many professional runners who had competed in the race had crossed the finish line hours before the blasts.

American Kara Goucher Tweeted: "My heart is broken but my family and I are fine. Please pray for those who aren't."

About 24,000 athletes ran the race, which is the oldest marathon in the United States. The Boston Athletic Association, the race organizer, said that 4,496 runners crossed the 40-kilometer mark but did not reach finish line and 1,246 runners were diverted or stopped before the 40K mark, reported.

In New York City, police are stepping up security at "hotels and prominent locations" until more is known, according to the office of Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

"We're stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of the NYPD's critical response vehicles (CRVs) until more about the explosion is learned," Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said in a statement.

With The Associated Press

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