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Painstaking search is on

The Games continued Sunday, but getting there turned into a world-class challenge.

At the Georgia World Congress Center, lines moved so slowly that spectators heading for Olympic weightlifting became entangled with people trying to see team handball and table tennis.

Every bag, every purse, every camera case was not just opened but closely examined.

"Please turn that on for a moment," a guard said firmly as anyone with a camcorder or cellular phone arrived at his checkpoint, making sure electronic gadgets were what they appeared to be.

Such was the fallout from Saturday's predawn bombing at Centennial Olympic Park.

Barriers as far as five blocks from some venues choked off traffic and turned parts of downtown Atlanta into huge pedestrian malls.

On other streets, vehicles had to merge from three or four lanes into one before being waved along by orange-vested police.

Meanwhile, in FBI offices in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., authorities expressed confidence that they would trace the bomber who killed two, injured 111 and robbed the Olympics of some of its joy.

"The search for evidence has been completed," FBI spokesman David Tubbs said.

The agency is examining the remains of the crude pipe bomb, which was hidden in a green knapsack and sent nails, screws and shrapnel flying as far as 100 yards from the blast.

Witnesses were questioned about suspicious people near the knapsack or a pay telephone, two blocks away, where an anonymous call to 911 warned that a bomb was about to explode.

No person or group had claimed responsibility for the bombing. And there were no definite suspects, Tubbs said, but it is fair to assume that the man who made the call also planted the bomb.

Voice experts who examined the 911 tape said the caller was a white American male, with an undistinguishable accent. The telephone was sent to FBI headquarters in Washington.

Investigators also viewed photos and videotape from security cameras, TV stations and individuals who were recording revelry in the park.

Based on witnesses, the FBI created composite sketches of possible suspects, Tubbs said, but it's too soon to release them.

A conglomeration of cheap carnival attractions and slick corporate pavilions, Centennial Olympic Park was a popular gathering spot for people who wanted a slice of Olympic enthusiasm without having to pay admission.

Sealed off since the bombing, it will reopen Tuesday with twice as many law enforcement officers and random searches of visitors' handbags, which pleased people who strolled by on a rainy Sunday.

"I'm here with my family for just a few days," said Jeff Grendell of Houston, carrying his sleeping 2{-year-old daughter, "and that's one of the places we'll be going to. I'm sure the police know what they're doing. You've got to have faith in them."

The civilian, police and military security army on hand for the Olympics totals about 30,000. They appeared Sunday to be out in greater force, wearing uniforms and camouflage fatigues, but said they simply were making a greater public presence.

"We've always been here," said Staff Sgt. Julie Siffrin of the Columbus, Ohio, National Guard. "It's just that we're a little more in the street instead of back in the doorways.

"And I think people just notice us more now since the incident. Before, we were just part of the scenery and they were more involved in what was going on.

"They don't seem to mind us. I've run into a lot of people in the street and in MARTA (the Atlanta bus and subway system) saying, "We're glad you're here.' "

Atlanta police chief Beverly Harvard said her department had received dozens of telephoned bomb threats and had been called to examine numerous suspicious packages since Saturday's 1:25 a.m. bombing. None panned out.

Harvard defends the Atlanta police "protocol" of checking out the pay phone before going to the park to warn people.

If the caller had given a specific location in the 21-acre park, the response would have been different, she said. "He just said there would be an explosion in the park in 30 minutes and hung up," Harvard said. The bomb exploded 18 minutes after the 911 call.

The searches that caused delays at the venues were taken in stride by capacity crowds.

"They searched my bag very thoroughly at water polo this morning," said Jill Kam of Philadelphia. "When we went to see cycling the other day, they just sort of glanced into it."

And Fred DeFerrierse of Paris, employed by the French Pavilion at Epcot in Orlando, said police seemed "a little bit more nervous. They speak into . . . electric horns (bullhorns) a lot and keep people moving."

Even as far away as Savannah, Ga., site of the yachting competition, "They're stopping everyone," said Jonathan Harley, the U.S. Olympic Committee's delegation supervisor for yachting. "I've seen a lot more of those (bomb-sniffing) dogs, too. There's not much you can do on the water, but (security's) a lot tighter around it."

Seventeen people injured in the bombing remained hospitalized Sunday, including two in serious condition.

One who was treated and released was Calvin Thorbourne, 24, of College Park, Ga. He and three friends were walking just outside the park when he heard what he thought were fireworks.

"Then I looked around and saw the shock on people's faces and I knew it was a bomb," he said. Blood dripping down his leg showed that he was among the wounded, as were two friends.

"One guy can't hear out of his left ear and it has been two days," Thorbourne said. "Another one caught a piece of shrapnel in his leg and it severed an artery. He is still in the hospital."

Thorbourne is having trouble sleeping. "I keep reliving the thing again and again.

"I hear the person on the stage talking then there is this explosion. People hit the deck, some out of instinct, others because they are wounded. I look around and see all of these people on the ground. I hear screams moaning. I can't get it out of my head."

The Atlanta chapter of the American Red Cross received more than 2,000 phone calls from worried people trying to locate family and friends who were in town for the Games.

"We used the media to get the word out for people to call home and say they're okay," said spokesman Bill Reynolds.

Several months ago, social workers and psychologists formed a team to deal with mental health problems during the Olympics. A psychologist was stationed inside each sporting venue and at the Olympic Village where the athletes are housed.

"In case of disaster, there was a plan," said Dr. Guy Seymour, the city's chief psychologist. "We had pretty much gone home Friday night when we got the page saying there was an explosion in the park."

On Saturday and Sunday, 11 law enforcement and 15 park workers sought psychological services from the Olympic Stress Support Center, according to Seymour.

"The main thing we try to tell them is, "Whatever your reaction is, it's okay.' "

Griggs Smith wasted no time making a business adjustment to the explosion. He sells T-shirts, hats and Olympic-related novelty items from a home-made kiosk just outside the park. Now a hand-written sign hanging above the kiosk reads: Ground-Zero General Store.

_ Staff writers Stephen Nohlgren, Terry Tomalin, Anne Hull and Times wires contributed to this report.

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