Belgian federal police have released a new appeal for information on "the man with the hat," as part of the ongoing manhunt for the third bomber in the Brussels airport attack. The suspect — who was spotted on airport CCTV wearing a conspicuous dark-colored sun hat — fled the scene of the bombing, leaving behind the unexploded third bomb. His name is still unknown.
The Belgian prosecutor's office launched the new appeal at a press conference Thursday, along with a video retracing the suspect's movements after the attack.
In the footage — which includes CCTV images, a 3-D overhead view of the area and stills — the suspect is seen walking and, at times, running through busy streets, as a voice-over narrates his movements.
According to the police, the man left the airport after the two bombs exploded at 7.58am, on March 22. After exiting the airport through an AVIS car rental parking lot, the suspect fled on foot through the town of Zaventem, where the Brussels airport is located.
Using a red dot to trace the man's footsteps on a 3-D overhead map of the area, the police show the suspect arriving at the crossroads between Grote Daalstraat and Chaussée de Louvain. The video then cuts back to CCTV footage of the man, who appears to have discarded the light-colored jacket he is seen wearing in earlier images, and is now wearing a light blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up.
The video then shows the red dot advancing up Chaussée de Louvain to the Meiser crossroads. Again, the suspect shows up on CCTV at 9.42am — almost two hours after the airport attack.
The red dot is seen progressing further up Chaussée de Louvain, and the video cuts once more to CCTV images of the man, filmed at 9.49am. The police lost trace of the suspect one minute later, when he took a left, and disappeared onto Rue du Noyer.
The police video then cuts to close-up stills of the man's clothing on the day of the bombings: a light-colored jacket with a hood that is dark on the inside, a pale blue shirt with dark elbow patches, dark pants, and brown shoes with white soles.
The police have urged anyone who may have spotted or found the jacket to come forward, as the garment could provide investigators with "precious information." The suspect is believed to have discarded the jacket somewhere between the airport and the Chaussée de Louvain.
Officials have also urged anyone who may have bumped into the suspect or seen where he was heading to come forward to the police. At the end of the video, an email address and the number for a free police hotline pop up on the screen.
On March 28, police in Belgium released a man suspected of being "the man with the hat", two days after he was arrested on charges of terrorism.