CBS correspondent John Miller, a former FBI assistant director, said that on Wednesday federal authorities had decided to release images from the Lord & Taylor video so as to enlist the public in the effort to determine the man’s name. Then they pulled back.
Agents are still assessing whether to go forward with that tactic, said Mr. Miller.
“For investigators, there’s always a difficult choice because if the person doesn’t know you’re looking for him, he may stay in place, you may catch up to him. If he does know you’re looking for him, he may run. On the other hand, if you don’t get him, it’s always great to enlist 20 million or so more eyes in the public who may be able to give you a location right away,” said Miller.
It is possible that this decision was affected by the confusion surrounding the possible arrest of a suspect on Wednesday. Several news outlets, including CNN, Fox News, the AP, and The Boston Globe, reported that such an arrest had been made, citing law enforcement sources. The FBI late in the day issued a statement denying such an arrest and asking for the media to exercise responsibility and restraint in its reporting on the case.