The father grew "uncomfortable with the boy's extreme religious views and had six months ago reported his activities to United States' Embassy, Abuja and Nigerian security agencies," "This Day" reported.
In Britain, law enforcement officials searched what was thought to be the suspect's residence in Marylebone, an affluent area in central London.
Officials are focusing on computers, hard drives and other materials, British authorities said.
Authorities have found no bomb making materials and they do not expect to. British authorities do not believe any bomb making took place in London, nor is the suspect believed to have any independent ability to construct a device.
The forensics teams involved is focused on materials that might shed light on his social network in the United Kingdom and overseas, and any associates involved his radicalization, British sources told ABC News.
Whether the suspect's story about al Qaeda is true or not the government is deeply disturbed the he was able to circumvent airport security.
"The fact that this man could get some sort of explosive on the plane is a real cause for concern," said ABC News' security consultant Brad Garrett.
There are two critical areas of investigations, sources said -- trying to figure out what chemicals were used, and dissecting the suspect's recent travels.
U.S. authorities are trying to find out whether the suspect was acting alone or as part of a conspiracy.
"What you're going to want to do is timeline his last 24 to 48 hours," Garrett said. "Who has he talked to? Where has he been? Where did he get the substances?"
The plot resulted in airline passengers enduring body searches and new limits on hand luggage.
U.S.-bound travelers from Europe were undergoing body searches at Amsterdam's airport.
"The extra measures apply worldwide on all flights to the U.S. as of now and for an indefinite period," said Judith Sluiter, spokeswoman for the Dutch national coordinator for counterterrorism.
The incident brought back memories of Richard Reid, a self described member of al Qaeda, who tried to blow up a plane in flight during the Christmas holiday season, three months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Reid, a British citizen and al Qaeda operative, attempted to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami with explosives hidden in his shoe.
Passengers on the flight complained of smelling smoke shortly after the meal service, and Reid was found trying to light a match. He was subdued by other passengers on the plane and the flight was diverted to Boston's Logan International Airport.
Reid, the so-called "shoe bomber," pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in January 2003 and is serving a life sentence at a federal prison in Florence, Colo. His actions, in part, are why travelers must take off their shoes as part of the airport security screening process.
"Eight years after Richard Reid attempted to blow up an airliner with explosives hidden in his shoe, today's incident, on Christmas Day, is a disturbing reminder that the terrorist threat is still very real and that we must continue to be vigilant and alert," U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee said in a statement Friday.