Thai Police Search for Man Seen in Surveillance Video Prior to Deadly Bangkok Blast

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Monks in orange robes chanted and prayed for departed souls at the popular shrine in the heart of the Thai capital that was struck by a deadly bombing this week.

The Erawan Shrine reopened to the public Wednesday morning, bearing the scars of the powerful blast that killed 22 people and wounded more than 120 on Monday evening. A golden statue of the four-headed Hindu god Brahma was missing most of one of its jaws.

Big questions remain about who exactly was behind the attack — described by authorities as a deliberate act of terror — and what motivated them.

Police say they are hunting for a man seen on a surveillance video putting a backpack under a bench in the shrine and then walking away shortly before the blast went off.

Beyond the yellow T-shirt and dark-framed glasses he was wearing, little is known so far about the man who police say they are “very sure” is the bomber.

Here’s where things stand:

The suspect

Police say they don’t yet know the suspect’s identity or whether he is Thai or a foreigner.

They are studying more than 10 days’ worth of CCTV footage from the scene to try to find out more, he said.

The surveillance footage from Monday evening shows the suspect in the yellow shirt sitting down on a bench in the shrine at 6:52 p.m. and hiding the backpack under the bench, said police spokesman Lt. Gen. Prawut Thavornsiri. The man left the scene without the backpack and the blast went off minutes after he set it down.

Police also noted that the suspect had material wrapped around both of his forearms, which they say could indicate he had previously sustained some kind of injury.

The device

The blast at the shrine was caused by a pipe bomb containing wheel bearings, according to police.

Investigators believe the explosive device was assembled in Thailand because many of its parts, including the pipe, were made in the country, Prawut said.

CNN security and intelligence analyst Bob Baer said it was unusual for a pipe bomb to kill so many people and cause so much damage.

“It would be a very sophisticated pipe bomb,” he said.

Another blast that hit a river pier in Bangkok on Tuesday was caused by a similar device, Prawut said. That explosion went off in the water and didn’t hurt anyone, but it was still “quite big,” he said.

The motive

There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing, and comments from Thai officials have so far been vague.

“From this incident, it is apparent that there are active individuals or groups that harbor the intention to damage Thailand, who may be pursuing political gain or other intentions by damaging the economy and tourism,” Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said Tuesday.

Analysts have speculated about a wide range of groups — including opponents of military rule in the country or a rogue faction in the army or police — but there is so far no evidence to link the attack with any of them.

Asked Tuesday if there was any information on a possible motive for the attack, police spokesman Prawut said it was too soon to reach any conclusions.

The victims

Thai authorities still haven’t identified all of those killed in the bombing, many of whom were from other countries.

The shrine is a popular tourist site and sits at a busy intersection near a big shopping mall.

China’s state-run news agency reported that six Chinese citizens, two of them from the special administrative region of Hong Kong, were killed. Malaysia’s national news agency Bernama said that four Malaysian citizens, all from the same family, were among the dead.

Officials have said that five Thais, a Briton and a Singaporean also died in the blast.

Motorbike taxi driver Theerasak Kultham, 20, was among the many people wounded. He told CNN he was stopped at a red light while taking a customer to a mall when he heard a loud explosion.

He saw his customer’s arm was covered in blood and realized his own back was numb and bleeding. Doctors said he had two shrapnel injuries — and one piece may have to work its own way out.

“I’ve never been through (anything) like this before. I’m still scared,” he said.

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