WASHINGTON — Federal authorities are considering removing Richard Jewell as an active suspect in the Atlanta Olympics bombing case, say Jewell's attorney and law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation.
Jewell, 33, the former security guard who worked at Olympic Centennial Park where the pipe bomb exploded July 27, spent nearly six hours with FBI agents during the weekend, reiterating his innocence and answering questions about his whereabouts at the time of the explosion that killed two people and injured more than 100 others. FBI and Justice Department lawyers are reviewing Jewell's statement.
His lawyer, Jack Martin, said the next step would be for the FBI to "write us a letter, saying [Jewell] is no longer a target or the subject of an investigation."
Justice Department officials said no decision has been made on whether to officially declare Jewell a "non-target."
However, one of the sources said that, because investigators have uncovered no compelling evidence linking Jewell to the crime so far, a non-target letter was a distinct possibility.
The FBI has reduced to a bare minimum its 24-hour surveillance of Jewell. The agency has also returned the property it seized from the Atlanta apartment he shares with his mother.