The bombings in Boston on Monday have triggered the kind of massive federal investigation that has become sadly familiar these days.
But where do the experts start in piecing together what happened?
That’s right, Sheriff Larry Smith spent 22 years with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, firearms and explosives.
And he has been involved in the kind of tedious work going on now in Boston.
“In any situation like a bombing or something of that nature,” Smith told us, “you spend your first day protecting the scene that you have there because especially in a post blast scene. What we used to do is we’d go out 50% farther than the last piece of device we could locate and that was our perimeter that we would set up.”
“And it’s very important to find out what kind of device it was, what made it function. And that will eliminate lots of people that you’re looking at.”
Smith was part of the investigation of the tragedy in Waco in 1993.
And the work of the ATF in Oklahoma City a year later, was meticulous, and pay dividends when Timothy Mcveigh was finally caught.
“On the truck axle, they would have had the last 10 digits of what would be the vehicle identification number,” Smith says. “That’s the way they were able to identify the Ryder rental truck, that was tracked down to Timothy McVeigh. What will be happening is during the day they will be doing the crime scene, investigators will be doing interviews. And that’s what the purpose of the end of the day is, they’ll come back together and discuss everything that’s happened that day to make sure they’re on the same page. It’s going to require a lot of patience. But I assure you, they won’t be in any hurry, nor should they be in any hurry in doing the type of investigation they need to do.”
Federal officials are playing it close to the vest this soon after the event.
But Smith told us, there is furious activity going on now before the trail gets cold.