By Nate Raymond
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. federal authorities on Wednesday announced an increased reward of $115,000 for information leading to the conviction of individuals responsible for the 2008 bombing in New York's Times Square.
The FBI, which had offered a $65,000 reward in 2013, said it was actively pursuing several "persons of interest," and has identified the origin of the explosive device's components.
"However, we're going to need more input and information from the general public if we're going to solve this case," Peter Tzitzis, an FBI special agent, told reporters.
The bomb exploded at about 3:45 a.m. local time on March 6, 2008, at the Armed Forces Recruiting Station, a small, stand-alone building in the heart of Times Square. No one was wounded by the blast which caused only minor damage.
Authorities have said a suspect on a blue Ross bicycle dismounted, placed the bomb at the recruiting station, lit the fuse and fled. The bicycle was found in a dumpster several blocks away.
The suspect appeared to be working alone but could have had a lookout or a surveillance team of as many as five others, authorities said.
At a press conference on Wednesday, FBI and New York Police Department officials said they believed the person who planted the device was male and that the incident was not tied to any foreign organizations.
The explosion might be connected to two other New York bombings, one at the British Consulate in 2005 and another at the Mexican Consulate in 2007, the FBI said.
The consulate bombs were also placed by someone on a bicycle and detonated between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., authorities said.
The explosive device used in Times Square was detonated with a time fuse and built using an ammunition can commonly found on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, the FBI said.
The announcement of the new reward came as Boston marked the second anniversary of the attack on its annual marathon that killed three people and injured 264.
While no one was harmed in the Times Square incident, the FBI said the case remained a "top priority."
In May 2013, Gerald Koch, a self-described anarchist from Brooklyn, was jailed after refusing to testify as a witness before a federal grand jury thought to be investigating the explosion. A federal judge ordered Koch's release in January 2014.
The FBI's Tzitzis said several other individuals have come forward with information and "good progress" was being made.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and G Crosse)