‘Very good leads’ found in Olympic bombing

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal investigators reported “very good leads” Sunday in the hunt for the Olympic bomber, and the Georgia National Guard mobilized fresh troops to add muscle to the force protecting against a repeat attack.
In Atlanta’s stadiums, arenas and streets, it was the Summer Games’ busiest day: The U.S. baseball team played Cuba, Olympic Stadium had a full track-and-field card, and 86 women marathoners raced through a cheering city.
Huge crowds, including more than 80,000 at the stadium, seemed undeterred by tougher security screening and fears of terrorism.
“The more they check us, the happier I am,” Nancy Hudgins of Stone Mountain, Ga., said at a handball game in the Georgia Congress Center.
“Incredible and patient crowds,” chief Olympic organizer Billy Payne called them, “determined to enjoy their Olympic experience.”
At downtown’s Centennial Olympic Park, explosives experts were finishing up their investigative work at the concert stage that was the site of Saturday’s early morning explosion of a pipe bomb. Officials hoped to reopen the popular, 21-acre gathering place by Monday.
Of the 111 people injured in the attack, 15 remained hospitalized Sunday, including three in critical but stable condition.
The 1:25 a.m. blast killed Alice Hawthorne, 44, of Albany, Ga., and led indirectly to the death of a Turkish cameraman who suffered a heart attack rushing to the scene.
Mrs. Hawthorne’s stepdaughter spoke for millions.
“I’d just like to know why,” Kendra Hawthorne said. “Somebody had to be really angry at something or somebody.”
Authorities reported no claim of responsibility for the attack, no arrests and no suspects, although unconfirmed news reports said a composite sketch of a suspect had been developed.
Investigators are canvassing the public for witnesses to any suspicious individuals near the bombing site or near a public telephone, two blocks away, where a caller dialed 911 just minutes before the blast and said a bomb had been planted in the park.
In Washington, Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick said authorities have “descriptions of people. We have information. … We have very good leads.”
But, she said, “We do not have a concrete suspect, as I would term it, right now.”
Police are confident the mystery caller was a white American male with no distinguishable accent — and that points toward “homegrown” terrorism.
“That is one of the principal theories we are pursuing,” Gorelick said.
Investigators also ran into some apparent dead-ends.
A man in north Georgia’s Whitfield County was questioned by the FBI after police were tipped he made suspicious statements about the bombing, the local sheriff said. But, said Sheriff Scott Chitwood, “there does not appear to be any connection.”
In Atlanta, an unidentified man who described himself as a vendor was arrested for making what police said were “terroristic threats” against a hotel. Police said, however, they didn’t believe he was the park bomber.
While investigators pursued leads, security officials continued tightening their net around Olympics competition sites, where guards stepped up screening of spectators and their bags. Officials asked fans to “leave the bags home” if at all possible, to speed up the lengthening lines at stadiums and arenas.
The Georgia state government said it would dispatch by Monday morning an additional National Guard infantry battalion, the 121st from Macon, to supplement the civilian bag-searchers, metal-detector operators and guards at Atlanta Olympic sites.
About 4,000 guardsmen are already deployed on any one day here. The battalion would add “a few hundred” to that contingent, government spokesmen said.
The civilian, police and military security army on hand here totals some 30,000. The White House said Sunday about 900 FBI agents are now assigned to Olympic duty.