With thousands of tips about the Oklahoma City bombing flooding into a toll-free hot line, federal investigators began to shift their focus more to domestic groups and less on international ones.
With a $2 million reward posted, the government got more than 2,000 calls in the first 12 hours since the toll-free line was opened Thursday evening, Justice Department spokesman John Russell said Friday.These contained "many good leads" for the worldwide search for two white men implicated in the Oklahoma City bombing, according to an FBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The founder of the white supremacist, segregationist Nationalist Movement, Richard Barrett of Learned, Miss., said Friday federal agents had questioned a former member of his group, Bob Smith of Largo, Fla., about the sketches.
Barrett said the sketch of the thick-haired, square-faced suspect reminded him of Michael Palasch, who spoke to the 1988 Nationalist Movement convention in Atlanta although he has never been a member of the group.
The government announced Thursday that arrest warrants had been issued for two unnamed men it believes rented the van that carried the explosives to the Oklahoma City federal building. Their real names were not known; aliases were used for the rentals.
"There is no place to hide," President Clinton declared at a Rose Garden news conference. "Whoever did it, we will find out and there will be justice that will be swift and certain and severe."
All FBI field offices here and abroad and CIA stations have been asked to contact any informants or sources with ties to or knowledge of terrorist groups or advocates of violence.
"We are going to pursue every lead," Attorney General Janet Reno told reporters.
More than 350 federal agents converged on Oklahoma City to help with the investigation.