Now officials claim Boston bombing suspect was NOT armed in boat showdown - despite police account of firefight and him 'shooting himself'.

By Associated Press and Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 20:53 EST, 24 April 2013 | UPDATED: 03:23 EST, 25 April 2013

Two unnamed U.S. officials have told the Associated Press that the surviving suspect in the Boston bombings was unarmed when police captured him hiding inside a boat in a neighborhood back yard.

The report contradicts the Boston police department's own account of Dzhokar Tsarnaev's capture on Friday - after commissioner Ed Davies described a firefight between him and officers before the terror suspect was captured.

The New York Times also said an M4 rifle had been found on the boat - another claim contradicted by the latest revelations.

Officers had originally said they had exchanged gunfire with Tsarnaev for more than one hour Friday evening before they were able to subdue him.

But on Wednesday, the law enforcement officials told the AP that no gun was found aboard the vessel.

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Hidden: Authorities say that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was not armed as he hid in this boat in a Watertown, Massachusetts backyard

Hideout: Dzhokhar was found hiding in this boat in Watertown on Friday following a massive manhunt

Apprehended: Dzhokhar is searched and given medical attention after he is found hiding on Friday evening

It also contradicts many media accounts of Tsarnaev's final moments of freedom.

The New York Timesreported that an M-4 carbine rifle - similar to the weapon used by American troops fighting in Afghanistan - was found aboard the boat and that officials had recovered two handguns and a bb gun used by the two brothers.

The throat wound sustained by Tsaernev was also said by numerous law enforcement sources to be self inflicted.

Sources told Newsday that Tsarnaev's bullet wound looked to be self-inflicted, due to the location of Tsarnaev's wound and the trajectory of the bullet.


And Reuters reported that the suspect was shot through the mouth by a round that exited through his neck.

Dozens of bullet holes were seen on the exterior of the boat in photos taken shortly after the final standoff in the Watertown backyard.

The officials told the AP that say investigators only recovered a 9 mm handgun believed to have been used by Tsarnaev's brother, Tamerlan, from the site of a gun battle Thursday night, which injured a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority officer. 

Thermal imaging shows Dzhokhar's final moments before arrest

Trawl: On Monday, a police forensics team examined the boat where Dzhokhar was found hiding

Scene: He was found cowering in the boat after its owner realized its straps had moved on Friday evening

Dzhokhar was believed to have been shot before he escaped.

The officials tell The Associated Press that no gun was found in the boat.

Investigators have said the brothers appeared to have been radicalized through jihadist materials on the Internet and have found no evidence tying them to a terrorist group.

Dzhokhar told the FBI that they were angry about the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the killing of Muslims there, officials said.

How much of those conversations will end up in court is unclear.

Rip: An FBI officer stands in front of the boat where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, was hiding inside

The FBI normally tells suspects they have the right to remain silent before questioning them so all their statements can be used against them.

Under pressure from Congress, however, the Department of Justice has said investigators may wait until they have gathered intelligence about other threats before reading those rights in terrorism cases.

The American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concern about that.

Regardless, investigators have found pieces of remote-control equipment among the debris and were analyzing them, officials said.

One official described the detonator as 'close-controlled,' meaning it had to be triggered within several blocks of the bombs.