Second Oklahoma bomber eluding justice

Washington - As the confirmed death toll of the Oklahoma City bombing rose to 126 yesterday, federal investigators appeared to be making little headway in their search for "John Doe No 2", the second suspect wanted for the attack, writes Rupert Cornwell.

Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press yesterday, Janet Reno, the Attorney General, vowed everything would be done to bring the man, currently no more than two artists' impressions, to justice. But despite hundreds of tips, and intensive searches in Arizona, Kansas and Michigan, the decisive lead has thus far eluded the FBI.

In Oklahoma City, such is the destruction of the Alfred P Murrah federal building that officials acknowledge the bodies of some victims - who may number 190 in all - will probably never be recovered. Yesterday 64 people were still missing, presumed to be entombed beneath the rubble.

But astonishingly, investigators have begun to reconstruct the truck which carried the massive bomb, including some parts of the chassis and body half the length of the vehicle.

From the jigsaw puzzle, they hope to gain further clues about Timothy McVeigh, the sole suspect so far arrested and said by a federal judge to be linked by "an indelible trail of evidence" to the explosion of 19 April, as well as the mysterious "John Doe No 2".

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