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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Investigators Probe Erie Bombing

Aired September 2, 2003 - 19:08   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The FBI says it has got a significant lead in that bizarre case in Erie, Pennsylvania, where a man was killed by an exploding bomb after telling police he had been forced to rob a bank.
Now, they are all still trying to figure out whether a co- worker's death had anything to do with the case.

Mike Brooks has the latest.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE BROOKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The lock that held a deadly bomb around the neck of pizza man turned bank robber Brian Wells was homemade, the FBI says, hand crafted for this purpose alone.

BOB RUDGE, FBI: As far as the locking mechanism it was unique and it was sophisticated.

BROOKS: The FBI showed the public this picture.

RUDGE: You can see a sequence of four locks and also a dial combination lock above.

BROOKS: The locking collar had been sent to the FBI's lab in Quantico, Virginia.

RUDGE: Part of the testing that is ongoing will be, certainly, for fingerprints.

BROOKS: The hand written note Wells gave the bank teller is also at the lab.

RUDGE: Being examined for hairs, fibers, fingerprints, handwriting and every test that you can imagine.

BROOKS: All to answer this one question: did Brian Wells act alone or was he, indeed, the pawn of an unknown mastermind behind this robbery and his death in the bomb blast?

Investigators still do not know what to make of the curious death of pizza co-worker Robert Pinetti this past weekend. They said an autopsy did find evidence of methadone and a Valium-type drug.

BRADLEY FOULK, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ERIE COUNTY: In combination those types of drugs could lead to respiratory depression, which could result in an accidental or an intentional drug overdose.

BROOKS: So, is there someone else, a Machiavellian mind, still out there, unseen and uncaught?

RUDGE: Well, you know, we really don't know the answer to that. What we can do is address the matter at hand and pursue it as vigorously as we humanly can and that's what we're doing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROOKS: Law enforcement sources tell CNN that the improvised explosive device around the neck of Wells was, in fact, a pipe bomb that was not very sophisticated -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Mike Brooks. A lot of questions still left to be answered. Thanks very much.

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