The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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April 26, 2013

Investigators revise Boston bombing details

BOSTON — The federal investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings has revised several significant details reported in the aftermath of the tragedy, especially the hunt for the perpetrators.

Investigators now say the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, did not engage in a gun battle with the police SWAT team that captured him a week ago in a boat in suburban Watertown.

They said no weapon was found on him or in and around the boat even though officers  riddled the small craft with bullets before pulling him out and handcuffing him.

At the time, police said they had "exchanged gunfire" with the suspect, and that they also feared he had explosives hiding in the boat. No explosives were found there.

Investigators did not say if any of the bullets fired at the boat struck Tsarnaev, who was bleeding from serious wounds and taken to a Boston hospital. They said he was at the scene of the gunfight between police and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, about 18 hours before the boat capture.

But they also disclosed that only one weapon, a 9mm handgun, was found at the earlier gunfight scene instead of the three guns that officials said at the time were recovered there. They said the gun was used by Tamerlan Tsarnaev to shoot at police, seriously wounding one officer and slightly injuring another.

Tamerlan died from bullet, shrapnel and other injuries sustained when his younger brother drove over his body while fleeing the gunfight in a stolen car. Investigators said the brothers had tossed a pressure cooker bomb like those used in the marathon explosions as well as handmade pipe bombs at police during the confrontation.

Investigators also contradicted reports that the younger brother's throat wound that has impeded his ability to speak resulted from an attempt to take his own life with a gun. They said it was caused by shrapnel from a makeshift bomb and not a bullet.

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