FBI agents not ready to close Jewell investigation
Olympic park security guard still under scrutiny
August 9, 1996
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Investigators have little hard evidence tying security guard Richard Jewell to the bombing in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park, but they are not yet ready to end their investigation of him, a senior law enforcement official told CNN.
Jewell is "still very much under investigation. That could change, but not for a while," said another senior federal law enforcement official.
Authorities have gathered and tested materials belonging to Jewell, and although they have found nothing conclusive, there is more work to be done, an official said.
But if solid evidence does not surface soon, a public statement clearing Jewell would not be unprecedented, said another official. He noted that such a statement was made after the name of a Jordanian suspect was publicized in the immediate aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing.
An FBI spokesman told CNN, however, that high-ranking FBI officials have not even discussed the possibility of such a statement. The investigation is "not anywhere near being closed. He (Jewell) is still under investigation," the spokesman said.
FBI Director Louis Freeh told a congressional committee last week that he regrets that Jewell's name became public in the investigation.
As one FBI agent said, "It seems to be a mess. It's awful."
Jewell was working as a security guard in Centennial Olympic Park when a pipe bomb exploded during an outdoor concert July 27, leaving two people dead and injuring 111. He was initially hailed as a hero for spotting the bomb before it detonated, but later came under FBI scrutiny.
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