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Feds: We'll Nail Eric Rudolph

Reinforced federal investigators have uncovered new signs that suspected bomber Eric Rudolph is still within a slowly shrinking search area near his boyhood home in western North Carolina.



CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart reports sources say trackers recently picked up and then lost Rudolph's scent on logging roads and again on hiking trails in the Nantahala National Forest. They estimate he passed that way several days after abandoning a pickup truck he borrowed two weeks ago, when he first came down from the mountains for more supplies.
Optimistic they're in the right area, agents are now preparing for the day when Rudolph may finally be cornered. On the chance they may be able to talk him out, FBI and ATF behavioral scientists, as well as trained negotiators, have joined the task force.

The FBI has also dispatched a specially designed robot to the scene in the event they get close enough to deliver a telephone or message to the fugitive.

There is more evidence, however, that Rudolph may not listen to negotiators. Sources say forensic specialists have confirmed what bomb-sniffing dogs first suspected: that the truck Rudolph used has nitro-glycerine—or dynamite—residue on it. Investigators have openly hinted that they fear he used the truck to retrieve bomb-making equipment.

"It's possible that the truck may have been driven some distance out of the forest area and later back in again to where it was found," said Senior FBI Agent Woody Enderson.

Federal agents aren't predicting when this search will end. It could be 20 minutes, it could be 20 days, said one. But more and more they appear confident that it will end with Rudolph's capture. They think that because it now appears clear that he is not on the run to faraway places. He has gone to ground near his old hometown. Agents say if he stays there, then they'll fin him.

CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart

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