ETX sheriff and former ATF agent explains what's next in Boston - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

ETX sheriff and former ATF agent explains what's next in Boston investigation

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SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

The investigation into what happened in Boston and who is responsible for the explosions will not wrap up quickly, even if a suspect or suspects are named and arrests are made.

Former ATF agent and current Smith County Sheriff Larry Smith investigated many high-profile explosives cases while serving on the AFT's national and international response teams.

Tuesday he explained what authorities in Boston are doing and what the next steps will be as the investigation continues to unfold.

Even though it looks like chaos and has been described as mayhem, the crime scene left behind at the Boston Marathon will be reconstructed piece by piece.

"What we normally do in a situation like that is, you find the last piece of the device as far away from the blast seat as you can, then you add another 50 percent to the distances and that's where you cordon off the area. You methodically go through all of that. It could take days," says Sheriff Smith.

Agents are on their hands and knees collecting pieces of the puzzle as authorities investigate the "blast seat," which is where the device was placed on the street. Agents will collect every scrap from the device that they can, expecting it to reveal the bomb maker's signature.

"Bombers have signatures just like other people that commit offenses," says Smith.

"I worked with some of the best people around and I guarantee you that they can put devices back together," he says.

Smith says he has seen the explosion video captured by spectators. That alone reveals clues.

"It means something to the trained eye. The different colors of smoke, the fire balls... it tells me something about what explosive was used and things like that," Smith says.

What the video specifically tells him, he is not at liberty to say. Smith says that information and training should stay within the ATF and the FBI. Though he does add that the bomber's decision to detonate two bombs within seconds communicates to authorities that the bomber's intention was to hurt as many people as possible.

Sheriff Smith says this fall, some of the same agents he worked with in the ATF will be coming to Smith County to offer explosives training to local law enforcement. It was just a coincidence that he set the training up hours before the explosions in Boston.

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