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April 23. 2013 10:19PM

Boston bomber bought explosives at NH fireworks outlet

SEABROOK - The elder of the brothers accused of detonating two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon purchased explosives at Phantom Fireworks in Seabrook in early February, the CEO and president of the fireworks chain said Tuesday.



"He personally was there; his driver's license was scanned," Bruce Zoldan, the head of the 70-store chain based in Ohio, said of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. "His request was to find an item that was the most powerful item in our showroom. That's what he asked the clerk and that's what she remembers."

Tsarnaev, 26, was killed early Friday during a shoot-out with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Mass. His younger brother, Dzhokhar, 19, was found hiding in a parked boat and was arrested after another shoot-out with police Friday night.

Zoldan said at the request of the FBI, the store ran the brothers' names through computer records and discovered that Tamerlan Tsarnaev purchased a $200 "Lock and Load" reloadable mortar kit on Feb. 6.

"The head of our security is a retired FBI agent, so he reached out immediately," Zoldan said.

He said that to use the? mortar kit, which launches fireworks, the brothers would have had to take it apart to extract its black powder. If they had, they could have gotten about a pound or more of pyrotechnic compound.

"It is a tedious job to do that - not so much expertise as it is time," Zoldan said.

He said he will not know if the brothers used any parts of the mortar purchased at Phantom Fireworks until the FBI conducts its analysis.

Authorities have said the brothers exploded pressure cookers filled with nails and BBs.



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