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Timeline: Washington sniper killings
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The net tightens

You asked us to say: 'We have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose.' We understand that hearing us say this is important to you

The killings seemed to affect everyone in the Washington area
FBI agents conduct a metal detector search of a house in the Tacoma area on the west coast of the United States apparently looking for shell casings and bullet fragments.

Police later issue arrest warrants for John Allen Muhammad (also know as John Allen Williams) and a younger, unidentified man believed to be his stepson.

Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose says both "may have information material to our investigation" and are wanted on what he describes as "federal firearms violations".

It is reported that Mr Muhammad had served in the US military at Fort Lewis in Tacoma.

Police also issue a description of a 1990 Chevrolet Caprice car with New Jersey number plates wanted in connection with the case.

On Wednesday evening, Police Chief Moose delivers another cryptic message, apparently to the sniper, during a press conference: "You asked us to say: 'We have caught the sniper like a duck in a noose'. We understand that hearing us say this is important to you. However we want you to know how difficult it has been to understand what you want."

The reference to a duck and noose is thought to be from a folk tale, in which a rabbit attempts to catch a duck in a noose but ends up thwarted by the duck.

"Let's talk directly," Chief Moose adds. "We have an answer for you about your option. We are waiting for you to contact us."

This is thought to refer to the sniper's demands for $10m apparently left in a note at the scene of one of the shootings.

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