Person Of Interest' In Tucson Shooting Cleared By FBI


The man whose photograph was circulated as a “person of interest” in the Tucson shootings has been cleared by the FBI.

FBI Special Agent Manuel Johnson told POLITICO that investigators are “confident” that the unnamed man is not linked to Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old suspect in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

The man had been seen on video entering the Safeway with Loughner before the Saturday morning rampage.On Sunday, CNN and Fox News reported that he was a cab driver who had taken the suspect to the store.

“He turned out to be a cab driver who went into the Safeway with him because he needed some cash to pay for the cab,” Pima County Sherff Clarence Dupnik said on Fox.

FBI Director Robert Mueller, who appeared with the local sheriff to answer questions at an earlier press conference, said there was “no information at this time to suggest that any specific threat remains.”

During the half-hour press conference, Mueller, who appeared with the sheriff, did not rule out charging Loughner under federal domestic terrorism statutes.

“This was an attack on our institutions and an attack on our way of life,” he said.

Loughner is currently in federal custody, and formal charges are expected Sunday afternoon. Mueller suggested that new details about Loughner’s motives will come in court filings. But he declined to say whether the suspect is cooperating and said investigators are still analyzing computers that were seized in searches.