BOSTON -- New details emerged Tuesday about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects as the surviving brothers medical condition marginally improved and two of his alleged victims were buried, including an 8-year-old boy.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26-year-old suspect who died following a police shootout last week, purchased two reloadable mortar kits from a Seabrook, N.H. store on Feb. 6., according to a company official. Consumer-grade fireworks contain a limited amount of explosives, but the 48 pyrotechnic shells Tsarnaev obtained would have been enough to yield some black powder, Phantom Fireworks vice president William Weimer said in an interview from the company's Ohio headquarters.
Tsarnaev asked a question that 90 percent of the males who walk into a fireworks store ask, said Weimer.
Whats the biggest and loudest thing you have? Tsarnaev asked, said Weimer, who has talked to the store employee who sold Tsarnaev the fireworks.
Tsarnaev paid $199.99 in cash and walked out with his two Lock and Load fireworks kits, Weimer said, consulting store records.
Investigators have not publicly identified the material used in the two improvised explosive devices that killed three and wounded more than 260 in two April 15 bombings near the marathons finish line. An FBI affidavit released this week said the bombs were made of low-grade explosives packed into pressure cookers along with metallic BBs and nails.
The same FBI affidavit also reported that investigators had found a large pyrotechnic at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth dorm room in which Tsarnaevs younger brother, Dzhokhar, lived.
This is a very active, ongoing investigation, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told a Senate committee Tuesday morning. All threads are being pulled.
Officials on Tuesday upgraded Dzhokhar Tsarnaevs condition to fair at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where the 19-year-old is being treated for what the FBI described as apparent gunshot wounds to his head, neck, legs and hand suffered either during a gun battle with police in suburban Watertown early Friday or later that night when he was discovered hiding in a boat in a Watertown backyard.
Tsarneav faces federal charges of using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property with an explosive, both of which can lead to the death penalty or a life sentence.
Tsarnaevs federal public defender has asked that the trial judge appoint two defense attorneys with expertise in death penalty cases, citing the complexity of the charges facing Tsarnaev. On Monday, a transcript showed that Tsarnaev was read his Miranda rights, notifying him that he had the right to remain silent and to retain an attorney. But the Boston Globe and other media outlets, citing unnamed law enforcement sources, reported Tuesday that Tsarnaev had made incriminating statements on Sunday.
Tsarnaev also likely will face state charges, including murder for the shooting death of Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier. The 27-year-old Collier, who investigators say was gunned down while he sat in his car in Cambridge on Thursday night, was buried following a private funeral service Tuesday.
A private service was also held for 8-year-old Martin Richard, who died in the April 15 explosion. This has been the most difficult week of our lives, the Richard family said in a brief prepared statement.