WASHINGTON, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. agents in the 2001 anthrax mailings missed or ignored clues pointing to the man they eventually said was the suspect, a review of records indicates.
Records show FBI agents overlooked a series of clues early in the investigation that indicated Army scientist Bruce Ivins was the source of the mailings while investigators focused on another Army researcher, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The anthrax mailings killed five people and forced thousands to receive vaccines.
Law enforcement documents unsealed recently by a federal judge and other information reviewed by the Times indicates that FBI leaders had details pointing to Ivins, who committed suicide in July and has been identified as the government's prime suspect.
Earlier suspect, Dr. Steven Hatfill, a former Army researcher who had never handled anthrax, eventually settled his lawsuit against the U.S. government for $4.6 million.
The information included records of key-card swipes showing Ivins spent hours in a "hot suite" at Fort Detrick, Md., late at night and weekends ahead of the mailings. Also, investigators had access to an Army report revealing Ivins did not tell superiors about a possible anthrax spill around his workstation that he cleaned up.