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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.

 
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