TODAY   |  May 03, 2010

NYC mayor: ‘Exploring a lot of leads’

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg discusses with TODAY’s Matt Lauer video that shows a man switching his shirt around the time of the Times Square bomb scare.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> matt?

>> mayor michael bloomberg is in times square .

>> good morning. little damp here. nothing has dampened the spirit of our tourists.

>> let's talk about this surveillance video. everyone is talking about it and showing it this morning. it shows about a 40-year-old white male in times square near that suv . what is it about this tape that peaks your curiosity and your interest?

>> matt, we have to be very careful. there are hundreds of tapes. we haven't been through all of them. and there are millions of people that come through times square . this person happened to be in one position, which the camera got a good shot of him and maybe he had something to do with it, but there's a very good chance that he did not. we're exploring a lot of leads, some of them trying to track down the car itself, who owned it, where it has been, who might have gotten it and brought it to times square , the person standing outside, other people that were coming and going. i think it's much too early to tell. so far, we do know there is no evidence tied to international tourism. it may very well be one person or one or more people. everything is speculation at this point. what we do know is that when somebody saw something, they mentioned it to one of our police officers , a mounted police officer, wayne radigan, who i had dinner with last night. and he did exactly what he should have done. he looked. it was suspicious. he called in some other cops. they started clearing the area, brought in the fire department , office of emergency management . fortunately, nobody was hurt.

>> obviously, this location was chosen, you could guess, for one of two reasons. one, there are a lot of people in times square . someone wanted to cause havoc. also there's a symbolic element to this, isn't there, mr. mayor? i mean, this is the heart of new york city and someone is trying to say, i can do this right in your heart.

>> matt, ever since 1993 when there was a bomb in the basement of the world trade center , new york has been the symbol around the world of some freedoms that we have in america that others find very threatening. we can practice our religions the way we want to. nobody tells us what we can say and can't say. we can be in charge of our own destiny. some people don't like that. some people didn't like it enough that they killed themselves and 3,000 other people on september 11 , 2001 . we continue to be the target in america and in america , i think it's safe to say new york is the symbol. it's the skyline they recognize. it's the name that they recognize. that's why we have 1,000 police officers dedicated to ensure -- to counterterrorism and intelligence. that's why we have so many cops on the street to cope us safe, and we have done it.

>> new york mayor michael bloomberg , thank you for spending time with us this morning. appreciate it.

>> happy to do it, matt.

>> januaet napolitano is homeland security