Boston blasts: Police ask public for digital images

BOSTON, Massachusetts (AFP) - Police investigating the Boston marathon attacks urged the public on Tuesday to come forward with any digital images they might have that could help solve the crime.

Speaking to reporters, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis appealed for "any photos that you have from around the time of the blast and particularly in that area" in the city center where Monday's deadly twin explosions took place.

"Photos taken close to the blasts, just before, just after... Those will be critical, and we'll prioritise those - but give us the photos and as much information (as possible) that can help the investigators move forward."

Three people, including a child, were killed and more than 170 were injured in the explosions that occurred a few seconds apart near the finish line of the 117th rendition of the world's oldest international marathon.

Countless still and video images went up on social media such as Twitter and Facebook in the minutes and hours after the explosions.

Mr Davis asked members of the public who submit images "to tell us what time those photos were taken" so that investigators don't have to lose time recovering electronic signatures from each and every image.

"Assistance from the public remains critical in establishing a timeline of events," added Mr Richard DesLauriers, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office in Boston.