US federal authorities are asking for help in identifying a suspect in connection with pipe bombs found in the Republican and Democratic national committees on January 6, the day of the violent storming of the Capitol building by supporters of President Donald Trump. Photos of the individual don’t leave much room. His face – assuming it is male – is covered with a mask, and the hood of his sweatshirt hides the rest of his head. His clothes are simple and offer no clear identifying details.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) therefore asks if anyone recognizes the more discernible aspects of her outfit, backpack and sneakers. Online hobbyist sleuths wasted no time in identifying the shoes as the Nike Air Max Speed Turf. If they’re right, the shoes aren’t very common, which could help the FBI narrow down the number of suspects.
Sneaker fans may know the Air Max Speed Turf as a style from the mid-1990s. Nike reintroduced them in 2012 and released more versions in 2018, including two color combinations that could be the shoes seen on the suspect. Unlike widely distributed styles, such as Nike’s popular Air Force 1, there aren’t millions of pairs on the streets of the United States, and although they are available on resale sites such as eBay and StockX, they aren’t traded with the same fervor as sought-after styles such as Air Jordans. That means a limited number of people are likely to own a pair, and the distinctive look makes them relatively easy to spot.
It’s not the best lead the FBI could have hoped for, but federal authorities have few clues as to the identity of the suspect so far, according to the Associated Press. They also worry about the potential for new threats involving explosives or gun violence as the inauguration and Trump’s departure approach.
The FBI has asked for the public’s help as it attempts to identify all of those accused of illegally entering the Capitol, assaulting police and possessing items such as pipe bombs during the January 6 riot. Many should prove easier to catch since their faces have been caught on camera clearly, and a number have already been arrested.