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WASHINGTON — The two men suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings were armed with a small arsenal of guns, ammunition, and explosives when they first confronted the police early Friday and were most likely planning more attacks, authorities said Sunday.
U.S. officials said they were increasingly certain the two suspects had acted on their own, but were looking for any hints that someone had trained or inspired them.
The FBI is broadening its global probe for a motive and pressing the Russian government for more details about a Russian request to the FBI in 2011 about one of the suspects’ possible links to extremist groups, a senior U.S. official said Sunday.
The surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was still in a hospital in serious condition.
Authorities said they believed he had tried to kill himself, because a wound in his neck “had the appearance of a close-range, self-inflicted style,” the senior U.S. official said.
Meanwhile, Boston-area residents began to say good-bye to those who died last week. One memorial is planned for today and another later this week.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said the authorities believed that Tsarnaev and his older brother, Tamerlan, 26, had planned more attacks beyond the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured more than 180.
When the suspects seized a Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle and held the driver hostage, they told him that they planned to head to New York, the senior U.S. official said Sunday. It was not clear whether the suspects had told the driver what they planned to do there.
Mr. Davis told CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday: “We have reason to believe, based upon the evidence that was found at that scene — the explosions, the explosive ordnance that was unexploded, and the firepower that they had — that they were going to attack other individuals.”
Area leaders — religious and political — fanned out Sunday to do what they could to reassure the grieving that the danger had passed. Or that for those who are gone, “life,” as Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, put it, “is not ended, merely changed.”
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Memories were not the only thing etched for some mourners.
As Melanie Fitzemeyer, 39, who baby-sat for Krystle Campbell two decades ago, walked to Ms. Campbell’s wake along with hundreds of others at a funeral home on Main Street, she took off her jacket and rolled up her sleeve.
On her arm was a two-line tattoo she had gotten the night before at a parlor owned by one of Ms. Campbell’s cousins.
“Boston Strong,” the top line read in black letters the length of her forearm, the surrounding skin still pink and tender.
“1983 Krystle 2013,” read the bottom.
Ms. Campbell, a 29-year-old restaurant manager, died after Monday’s bombing from wounds suffered near the finish line of the race she tried to see every year. She will be buried today.
Reassurance seemed to be the message from top city and state officials on the Sunday news shows.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said that what he knew suggested that the two brothers suspected of carrying out the attack had operated by themselves.
“All of the information that I have, they acted alone,” he said on This Week on ABC.
The danger has passed, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said on Face the Nation on CBS.
“The immediate threat, I think all of law enforcement feels, is over, based on the information we have,” he said. “And that is a good thing, and you can feel the relief at home here.”
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Yet officials are struggling to learn whether the brothers — Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died after a shootout with the police in Watertown, Mass., early Friday morning, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, captured that night in Watertown and lies seriously wounded in a Boston hospital bed — had help or were operating in league with anyone.
With Dzhokhar in the hospital — a breathing tube down his throat and unable to speak — several lawmakers said he should be tried in federal court as a civilian, a move that would allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty.
Even as a special team of interrogators made their way to Boston to question Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Mr. Menino suggested that the suspect’s injuries were such that he might not be able to communicate for some time.
“We don’t know if we will ever be able to question the individual,” he said on ABC News.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) and Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), the chairman and a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, sent letters to the directors of three of the nation’s leading intelligence gathering agencies calling the FBI’s handling of the case “an intelligence failure.”
Agents had questioned Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011. And last year, he left on a 6 ½-month trip overseas, primarily to Russia.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a former FBI agent, said he believed the older brother traveled to Russia under an alias.
“They had information from a foreign intelligence service that they were concerned about his possible radicalization,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“The FBI did their due diligence and did a very thorough job of trying to run that down, and then asked some more help from that intelligence service to try to get further clarification, and unfortunately that intelligence service stopped cooperating.”
As prosecutors worked to complete the criminal complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that will detail the charges, hundreds of police detectives and FBI agents — including members of the Joint Terrorist Task Force in Boston, along with nearly 250 agents from 24 of the FBI’s 56 field offices — continued to work, officials said.
Efforts include analyzing records from the brothers’ phones and computers and searching their browsing histories to find associates and witnesses and extremist-group affiliations.
The agents also scoured the brothers’ credit-card records and other material seized from their apartment and car for evidence of bomb components, the backpacks used, or any other evidence that could tie them to the bombings last Monday or the shootings later in the week.
Many local and national lawmakers said that the federal courts would be the best place to hold a trial, not a military tribunal.
At the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Cardinal O’Malley said some of the more than 170 wounded in the bombings had prayed there one week ago. He named the four victims — three who died at the finish line and the police officer killed three nights later during an encounter with the Tsarnaevs, officials say — and said they would live in eternity.
“We must be a people of reconciliation, not revenge,” he said. “The Gospel is the antidote to the ‘eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth’ mentality.”
Mr. Menino and Mr. Patrick called on everyone in the state to unite for a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m. today — one week after the bombings. That will be followed by the ringing of bells across Boston and the commonwealth.
Later today, students and faculty and staff members will gather on the campus of Brown University in honor of Lu Lingzi, the Chinese graduate student who was killed in the bombing. Another memorial is expected on Thursday night on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus to honor Sean A. Collier, 26, the university police officer who was killed.
Martin Richard, 8, was mourned Sunday in Dorchester.
There were signs the Boston area was returning to normal. Late Sunday afternoon, Mr. Menino outlined a five-phase plan to reopen the area where the attack occurred. It will involve decontamination, structural building assessments and debris removal.