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Feds commit resources to sniper hunt

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld signed the deployment order.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld signed the deployment order.

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Federal resources being made available to the D.C.-sniper killing spree investigation involve hundreds of people and the most sophisticated technology the United States has to offer, including surveillance aircraft, labs and computers.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Tuesday signed the deployment order that allows Army airborne surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft to be used in the hunt for the sniper. Law enforcement authorities will request the equipment as needed.

The FBI said it has deployed 400 agents and the use of its lab and special computer equipment to analyze leads.

About 250 agents and analysts and the use of a lab are being provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, an ATF official said. And the Secret Service said that up to 50 agents from its D.C. field office have been involved in the probe.

The Customs Service said helicopters are doing surveillance flights, mostly over northern Virginia. Flying patrols are looking for suspicious tag numbers and for the vehicles whose pictures have been released. The service's mobile command center has been used at some scenes to help process evidence. It is hard to say how many people are involved, a Customs official said.

The U.S. Marshals Service said about 100 deputy marshals are involved in the probe, and the U.S. Park Police confirmed involvement but would not provide manpower numbers.

The Drug Enforcement Administration has offered planes for surveillance, but so far they have not been used, a DEA official said.

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