TODAY   |  April 24, 2013

Boston bombing suspect: We acted alone

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is telling authorities he and his brother, Tamerlan, learned how to make bombs from Al Qaeda’s online magazine, which recommends using fireworks. Officials say Tamerlan bought fireworks in New Hampshire before the bombing. NBC’s Jeff Rossen reports.

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

>>> we have new details this morning on the boston marathon bombings and what the tsarnaev brothers were doing in the months leading up to that attack. nbc's jeff rossen is in boston this morning with the story. jeff, good morning to you.

>> reporter: hey, savannah, good morning to you. lots to tell you about this morning. and we want to begin with a milestone for the city of boston . overnight, they reopened boylston street where all of this happened and we have a live picture to show you right now. i want to show you the site of the first bomb. this is where the first bomb went off. and if we zoom in, you can see on the left of the sidewalk, some orange cones. that is the site of that first bomb, marked off just by those cones. it's sort of an eerie sight watching people to walk to work this morning, walking around those, some of them even taking photos. we also have new details this morning in the investigation. fbi agents have now fanned out around the world, from here in the u.s. to russia, where they're interviewing the suspects' parents. and we're learning much more about the suspects this morning, closing in on a motive and how they may have built those bombs. just months before the bombings, tamerlan tsarnaev shopped here at this fireworks store in new hampshire. the store owner says he purchased these large lock & load mortar kits, 48 fireworks in all. what was his demeanor when he bought this?

>> just normal, everyday customer. he wasn't overly friendly, he wasn't rude.

>> reporter: from his hospital bed, the surviving suspect, dzhokar, is filling in the blanks. telling officials they learned how to make a bomb from al qaeda 's online magazine , "inspire," which recommends using fireworks as a bomb component. dzhokar told investigators, he and his brother acted alone and offered a motive too. that the brothers believe the u.s. wars in iraq and afghanistan were an attack on islam. the day after the boston attack, dzhokar spoke with college friends at the gym.

>> i talked to him about how it was crazy that we had a bombing in boston .

>> reporter: you said that? you talked about the bombing?

>> he said, yeah, it's a tragedy that it's happening, a sad thing, that it's happening in afghanistan and places around the world and people aren't used to it.

>> reporter: meanwhile, tamerlan's wife, katie, remains in seclusion, reportedly living at her parent's home in rhode island . tuesday, her attorney said she's cooperating with authorities.

>> the reports of involvement by her husband and brother-in-law came as an absolute shock to them all.

>> reporter: and the victims' families continue to mourn. funerals tuesday for slain m.i.t. officer sean collier and 8-year-old martin richard, whose family held a private service . saying in a statement, we laid our son, martin, to rest and now he is at peace. city and state officials have created a charity for the victim. it's called the one fund. so far, they have raised $20 million and counting. and savannah, another critical day for the investigation going forward today. vr investigators now analyzing phone calls and e-mails from the suspect, trying to verify the younger brother 's story that they acted alone.