NEW YORK (CBS) ―
May 4, 2010 10:34 am US/Eastern
Mayor: Times Square Suspect Acted Alone
Original SUV Owner Cleared As Suspect After NYPD Learns He Sold It To A Man On Craigslist 3 Weeks Ago
Sources tell CBS News the last registered owner of the 1993 Nissan Pathfinder found abandoned in Times Square Saturday night told authorities he recently sold the vehicle to a "Middle Eastern" or "Hispanic" looking man for $1,300 cash in $100 bills on Craigslist.
Authorities interviewed the Pathfinder's registered owner Sunday night, but said he is not a suspect in the case.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly was tight-lipped about who owns the explosive-laden SUV in Times Square, but sources told CBS 2 that talking to the owner was as important in solving the case as identifying the vehicles used to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993 and the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.
"We didn't want the press to do the investigation. You know, you'd all like to get involved in the case and solve it for us. We appreciate that, but this is what law enforcement has to do," said NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly.
It also made police lose interest in the man seen in NYPD video released Sunday, who was seen taking off one shirt to reveal another underneath. The surveillance video, made public late Sunday and seen first on CBS 2 HD, shows an unidentified white man apparently in his 40s slipping down Shubert Alley. In the clip he's seen looking back in the direction of the smoking vehicle and furtively putting the first shirt in a bag.
"He may or may not have been involved in this incident. It was a hot day, maybe he was just changing his shirt," said Bloomberg.
Bloomberg later told CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric that the suspect behind the bombing attempt could be a domestic terrorist angry at the government who acted alone.
"If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that. Homegrown, or maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything," he said.
"There is no evidence here of a conspiracy, there is no evidence that it's tied into anything else. It looks like an amateurish job done by at least one person," he told Couric.
The SUV has been gone over inch-by-inch by forensic experts looking for fiber samples, hair, DNA, and fingerprints.
"All of the things you would expect are going forward are going forward, obviously a big forensic element," said Kelly.
The FBI is also heavily involved in analyzing the information form the SUV at their operations center.
"We are going to send a lot of this material today to the FBI lab in Quantico. They've got the top laboratory in the world to do these sorts of investigation and keep some samples here," said Kelly.
Police also have gotten new information by reviewing footage from 82 NYPD cameras in the area. The mayor complained, however, that some private cameras were not operational.
"There are hundreds of cameras, most of them in private buildings looking out and a lot of them don't work and it would be great if people had them working," said Bloomberg.
Officials said they are optimistic they will crack the case. As Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday, "You can run, but you can't hide."
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