Police clear 'person of interest' in Tucson rampage

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Sunday, 9 January 2011 23:20 GMT

PHOENIX, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Authorities cleared a man they had sought in connection with Saturday's shooting rampage in Tucson in which a U.S. congresswoman was seriously wounded and six people were slain, the FBI said on Sunday.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department had said on Saturday that it was seeking to identify a white man wearing blue jeans and a dark blue jacket who was at the scene of the shooting.

But the FBI said they have since cleared the man. Police declined to identify him to protect his privacy.

"He was thoroughly interviewed, and his story checked out through our investigation," special agent Manuel Johnson, a spokesman for the FBI, told Reuters.

Police arrested Jared Loughner for the rampage and charged him with multiple counts of murder in the killing of six people and attempting to assassinate U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head.

"At this time we don't have any reason to believe that there were any other individuals" associated with Loughner in the shooting, Johnson said. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Mary Milliken and Philip Barbara)

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