Autopsy completed on marathon bombing suspect

Tamerlan Tsarnaev smiles after accepting the trophy for

Tamerlan Tsarnaev smiles after accepting the trophy for winning the 2010 New England Golden Gloves Championship in Lowell, Mass. Tsarnaev, 26, was identified by authorities as one of the Boston bombings suspects. (Credit: AP, 2010)

BOSTON -- An autopsy on Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev determined precisely how he died after a bloody shootout with police but the results can't be made public until the body is claimed, a spokesman for the Massachusetts medical examiner said Monday.

"The medical examiner has determined the cause of death," said Terrel Harris, spokesman for the Massachusetts office of the chief medical examiner, but added that these findings will not be made public until the body is claimed and a death certificate is filed.

Tsarnaev's widow, Katherine Russell, would be permitted to claim the body from the medical examiner but she has been in hiding at her family's home. FBI agents carried away several bags from the home Monday.


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The Washington Post reported that two law enforcement officials said investigators found female DNA on a piece of one of the bombs from the marathon. The DNA could have come from a woman who helped the suspects make the bombs or from a person in a store who handled the materials the suspects bought, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The DNA may have also come from people at the marathon, one of the officials said, according to The Washington Post.

Two law enforcement officials told Reuters that both the FBI and local law enforcement agencies are looking beyond the Boston area to try to identify associates of the brothers.

The April 15 bombings killed three people and wounded more than 260. U.S. officials say that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother, Dzhokhar, 19, carried out the bombings. The elder brother also made a six-month trip to Russia in 2011.

President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone Monday and Obama expressed his "appreciation" for Russia's close cooperation after the attack, the White House said.

The suspected bombers are Russian natives who immigrated to the Boston area. Russian authorities told U.S. officials before the bombings they had concerns about the family, but only revealed details of wiretapped conversations since the attack.

The FBI, at the request of Russia's domestic intelligence service, conducted a three-month review of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's activities in 2011. The FBI checked the tip thoroughly "and did not find terrorist activity, domestic or foreign," White House spokesman Jay Carney has said.

On Monday, Sen. Charles Schumer questioned why the FBI didn't re-interview the older brother when he returned from Russia and posted "inflammatory" comments on the Internet. Schumer said he'll pursue an answer as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the FBI.

The younger Tsarnaev, now at a prison medical center, is charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. On Monday, prominent death penalty lawyer Judy Clarke joined Tsarnaev's legal team.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in an April 19 shootout with police.

Since the bombing, Russia has turned over information to U.S. authorities, including details of a secretly recorded telephone conversation with Tsarnaev's mother and her son. In the 2011 conversation, one of the bombing suspects "vaguely" discussed jihad with the mother.

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