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Napolitano pleads for patience, says Boston probe is not an 'NCIS' episode

The FBI has identified people who might have had a role in the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday while pleading for the public to be patient with the investigation. 

Napolitano said the people are not suspects but represent one of the best leads in the federal investigation of the attack that killed three people and wounded more than 170.

“We have been collecting video from a variety of sources,” Napolitano said in testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee.

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“There is some video that has raised the question of those [people] that the FBI would like to speak with. I wouldn’t characterize them as suspects under the technical term, but we need the public’s help in locating these individuals.”

Napolitano said that while the FBI hasn’t made any arrests in the case, the investigation is progressing and the public and media should understand that the work will take time.

“The investigation is proceeding apace. This is not an "NCIS" episode. Sometimes you have to take time to properly put the chain together to identify the perpetrators. Everyone’s committed to seeing that that gets done in the right way.”

Napolitano was not able to tell lawmakers whether the bomb was remotely detonated or set by a timer and could not say whether the bombers were foreign or domestic.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) told reporters that he's worried that if the FBI investigation takes too long, the bombers could have the chance to flee the country.

"Everyday that passes, it gets colder," McCaul said. "As a federal prosecutor the first 24 hours of a murder case are pretty important."

Napolitano was on Capitol Hill to defend President Obama’s budget request for her department. She said the budget request, which is a 2.2 percent reduction from last year’s levels, would adequately provide the resources needed to successfully combat terrorist attacks such as the one that occurred in Boston.

Updated at 12:46 p.m.