NY cops track down owner of explosive-laden car

Surveillance footage shows white man walking away from Nissan

NY cops track down owner of explosive-laden car

“We’ve identified and spoken to the registered owner,” said Paul J Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, who stressed that the police had not yet identified a suspect or a motive. Nonetheless, the resolution of the vehicle’s provenance is a significant advancement in the 38-hour-old investigation.

Investigators continue to review surveillance footage from Saturday evening, when the car bomb was found, that showed a white man who appeared to be in his 40s walking away from the area as he looked over his shoulder and removed a layer of clothing. Attorney General Eric H Holder Jr seemed optimistic in comments he made Monday morning. “We have some good leads,” Holder told reporters in Washington.

Raymond W Kelly, the New York City police commissioner, said on Sunday that the materials found in the Nissan Pathfinder — gasoline, propane, firecrackers and simple alarm clocks — also included eight bags of a granular substance, later determined to be nonexplosive grade of fertiliser, inside a 55-inch-tall metal gun locker.

The bomb, Kelly said, “would have caused casualties, a significant fireball.” Had it exploded, said Paul  Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, “it would have been, in all likelihood, a good possibility of people being killed, windows shattered, but not resulting in a building collapse.”

While the authorities said they were treating the failed bombing — described as a “one-off” by Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary — as a potential terrorist attack, they said there was no evidence of a continued threat to the city.

Investigators were reviewing surveillance footage that showed an unidentified man walking away from West 45th Street, where the Nissan Pathfinder had been parked. The police said the man was a “person of interest.”

The man was seen in Shubert Alley, which runs between 44th and 45th Streets, looking furtively over his shoulder and removing a dark shirt, revealing a red one underneath, officials said. The man then stuffed the dark shirt into a bag, officials said.

High drama

Kelly held his briefing as Times Square experienced an uneasy return to normalcy after a night of high drama that saw the evacuation of thousands of tourists. All Broadway shows ran as scheduled on Sunday, playing on streets where, just hours before, onlookers watched behind orange netting as a police bomb squad used a robot to break into the Pathfinder, which was discovered about 6:30 pm.

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