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Did Boston bombers have help? Investigators checking female DNA evidence.

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Michael Dwyer/AP

(Read caption) Pedestrians pass the spot where the first bomb detonated on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, in Boston, last week.

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Investigators have found female DNA on a piece of one of the pressure cookers used as bombs in the Boston Marathon attacks, but it’s unclear whether the new evidence points to a third suspect, officials briefed on the probe told The Wall Street Journal.

The DNA does not conclusively indicate that the bombing suspects – brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – had an accomplice who helped to either build the bombs or dispose of the evidence. Officials said that the DNA could have come from a store clerk who handled the materials, or from a spectator at the bombing site.

But investigators are using the DNA evidence, as well as a fingerprint found on a bomb fragment, to identify several potential associates, including Katherine Russell, the widow of deceased suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, two senior law enforcement officials told The New York Times.

FBI agents visited Ms. Russell at her parents’ home in North Kingstown, R.I., on Monday. They left the house carrying bags labeled “DNA samples,” which will be used to see if the DNA belongs to Russell or the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, officials told CNN. Russell has been staying with her parents since April 19, when Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a shootout with police.

"The FBI is there as part of our ongoing investigation, but we aren't permitted to discuss specific aspects of the case," FBI spokesman Jason Pack told the Journal.


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