Nevada officials have called off an Amber Alert for a kidnapped 6 year old, but nonetheless continue to direct searches, seize evidence and name "people of interest" in pursuit of his abductors, police said.
The missing boy, Cole Puffinburger, was kidnapped Wednesday morning from his Las Vegas home.
"The number of tips that have come into the Amber Alert line has slowed considerably," Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Capt. Vince Cannito told reporters, explaining the rationale for discontinuing the Amber Alert.
"We are following up on a number of leads at this time," Cannito added. "Over the past 24 hours, a number of search warrants have been executed."
Cannito said leads were driving authorities to actively search the northeastern Las Vegas valley for an unspecified target, to recover "a large amount of cash through some of these search warrants," to question "people of interest" and to seek another suspect -- identified as Mexican national Jesus Gastelum. Cannito said Gastelum's name had come up repeatedly as authorities pursued different leads.
Puffinburger's grandfather, Clemens Tinnemeyer, 51, was arrested by the FBI on Friday as a "person of interest" in the case. He was taken into custody in Riverside, Calif., and is being held at the San Bernardino County Sheriff's facility in San Bernardino, Calif.
Police believe Tinnemeyer was involved in drug dealing with Mexican nationals.
Tinnemeyer has been talking to authorities about the case, Cannito said, as has a third, unidentified "person of interest."
Posed as Police?
Wednesday morning, three armed men, who may have posed as police officers, invaded the home where Puffinburger lived with his mother and her boyfriend. The intruders ransacked the home, then left with the boy.
A nationwide Amber Alert was activated Wednesday afternoon.
The boy was last seen wearing blue jeans, Vans sneakers, a black shirt and a black sweatshirt. He is 3 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 48 pounds.
Friends and neighbors have been posting flyers with Cole's pictures. A makeshift memorial has been growing outside his home.
One of the boy's abductors was described in an Amber Alert as having black, shoulder-length, slicked-back hair. He is in his early 30s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and about 150 pounds.
All three suspects are reported to be Hispanic and have heavy Spanish accents.
Authorities believe Tinnemeyer may have been involved in drug dealing with Mexican nationals and that he owed them money. Las Vegas police officer Bill Cassell said the boy's kidnapping may have been a "message."
According to ABC affiliate KTNV, Tinnemeyer lived in Las Vegas, about three miles away from his grandson. His wife, Diane, said that he is an RV driver who would leave home for two to three weeks at a time.
His family last saw him in May. At that time he left on a sightseeing tour in a 2006 gold Valencia Mandalay motor home.
He contacted a family member on Aug. 22 from Tennessee.
Tinnemeyer's wife filed a missing person report on Sept. 11. In that report, Diane Tinnemeyer said her husband sometimes carried a .38-caliber handgun. He was not seen or heard from again until his arrest Friday.