Police officials said Monday that investigators had spoken to the registered owner of an SUV used as a homemade car bomb in a failed terror attack in the heart of Times Square, but have not yet identified anyone as the driver.
Paul Browne, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for public information, would not give further details on the registered owner, and would not say whether the person was considered a suspect.
Investigators were also looking to speak with a man in his 40s videotaped shedding his shirt near the sport utility vehicle where the bomb was found.
The surveillance video, made public late Sunday, shows an unidentified white man apparently in his 40s slipping down Shubert Alley and taking off his shirt, revealing another underneath. In the same clip, he’s seen looking back in the direction of the smoking vehicle and furtively putting the first shirt in a bag.
The NYPD and FBI also were examining “hundreds of hours” of security videotape from around Times Square.
Police said the crude gasoline-and-propane bomb could have produced “a significant fireball” and sprayed shrapnel and metal parts with enough force to kill pedestrians and knock out windows. The SUV was parked on one of America’s busiest streets, lined with Broadway theaters and restaurants and full of people out on a Saturday night.
On Saturday, May 1, an NYPD officer found smoke coming out out a car in Times Square. The area around Seventh Avenue and 45th Street was evacuated, and the bomb squad found propane and other potential explosives in the vehicle. On May 3, Faisal Shahzad was arrested and eventually charged with attempted terrorism.