Now sources say that as early as next week Kopp may graduate yet again, this time to the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List. There he would join Eric R. Rudolph as the second anti-abortion activist to make the list in connection with a fatal attack.
Federal agents won't say what led to Kopp's sudden promotion, but insist the evidence is solid, reports CBS News Correspondent Jim Stewart.
"I'm here to tell you we have our suspect and this man James Kopp is our suspect," said Bernard Tolber, of the FBI in Buffalo, New York. "We now believe he should be charged with the murder of Dr. Slepian."
Dr. Barnett Slepian was killed by a single sniper's round fired through his home's kitchen window last October. Witnesses saw a man resembling Kopp nearby at the time. Evidence, including a rifle and hair samples, were later found near the sniper's hiding place.
Federal investigators believe Kopp had help to escape, and at one point believed he was hiding in Mexico. Now, sources say, they suspect he may have returned to the United States.
There's an unusual degree of urgency associated with this manhunt because agents think this isn't the first time Kopp attacked an abortion provider. Four other doctors in Canada and New York were wounded by a sniper, and agents say the man they most want to question about those shootings is the same James Charles Kopp.