TODAY   |  April 22, 2013

Boston police commissioner: Lockdown lift was right

Edward Davis, commissioner of the Boston Police Department, tells Matt Lauer about the latest in the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, saying “enormous investigative resources” are being poured into the questioning of suspect Dhokhar Tsarnaev.

Share This:

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

>> much. ed davis , commissioner of the boston police department joins us. good morning.

>> good morning, matt.

>> you've got a suspect in the hospital in critical but stable condition . unable to speak, but answering preliminary questions in writing. based on those early answers, are you 100% confident there is no future or further threat to boston in terms of accomplices or unexploded devices?

>> this is very early in the investigation. we're satisfied that the two main actors, the people that were committing the damage out there, have been either captured or killed. there's still an open question as to exactly what happened in this investigation and there are enormous investigative resources being poured into that right now. we can't say with 100% certainty that anything actually at this point.

>> do you know if this suspect has in any way given any indication of what the motive was for these attacks?

>> no. it would be impossible for me to discuss anything about the suspect or the investigation. that's very sensitive and it's very much in play right now.

>> let me ask you, take you back to thursday night. had the tsarnaev brothers not done what they did in killing officer collier and then carjacking that car, do you think the boston police department , the fbi , federal officials were close to capturing these two? or if they hadn't done that, might they have quietly slipped away?

>> matt, i'm satisfied that once those pictures were released and these people were still in the country, there was no question we would capture them.

>> let me also ask you about friday evening. the decision to lift the lockdown. i know this is a question you probably are going to be facing. what was that based on, that decision? i mean, as it turned out, shortly after the lockdown on watertown and boston in general was lifted and people were told they can go about their normal lives but to remain vigilant, this suspect was found about a block or two outside the perimeter. so was it the right decision to lift that lockdown?

>> i believe it was at that time. that was a decision that was made in consultation with mayor thomas menino , governor patrick. every single one of the law enforcement partners that were involved in this operation, we examined all of the facts, and came to the conclusion that at that point in time, at that juncture, we felt that either the suspects had fled the area or there was not enough specific information to keep the city in the state of emergency that we had put in place earlier in the day.

>> and back to the older brother, tamerlan tsarnaev. it's clear now that in 2011 , he hit the radar of the fbi . the russian government contacted the united states , said they were concerned about him, that he had changed dramatically and had been radicalized. the fbi interviewed him, but apparently they weren't troubled enough to do anything further. was the boston police department ever notified about that interview? was tamerlan tsarnaev ever on your radar?

>> we are reviewing our records in the boston regional intelligence center. we work very closely with the fbi . i don't have that information at this point in time, but it's certainly part of our inquiry.

>> but based on the fact that the government of russia contacted the united states , whether the fbi found something or not, do you think the boston police department should have been made aware of that situation, a guy like that living in your community?

>> well, let me stress, matt, i don't have any specific information about the international conversations that were going on. but i can tell you that we're looking at everything, and that certainly will be part of the review.

>> boston police commissioner ed davis . mr. davis, always good to see you. thank you very much.

>> thank you, sir.