Two men suspected in the series of sniper shootings in the Washington D-C area are being arraigned (Thursday) at a federal court in Baltimore, Maryland.
Officials say 17-year old John Lee Malvo is being formally charged as a material witness and 41-year old John Allen Muhammad is being charged separately on weapons violations.
Local and federal prosecutors are expected to meet Friday to discuss bringing murder charges against the men.
High-ranking law enforcement officials say they are certain the two are responsible for the sniper killings, which have left 10 people dead and three others wounded since October second.
Mr. Muhammad, the suspected shooter, served in the U-S army from 1985 until 1994 and was an expert level marksman, who served in the Gulf War.
Earlier, investigators found a two-23 caliber rifle in the car where police found and arrested the two men while sleeping at a Maryland rest station.
The rifle is the same caliber as the kind used in the shootings.
Law enforcement sources say investigators also found a rifle scope and a tripod in the vehicle. Media reports say the sniper may have fired through a hole in the trunk of the car, a 1990 blue Chevrolet Caprice.
The Seattle Times newspaper quotes federal sources as saying the two men may have been motivated by anti-U-S sentiment in the wake of the September 11th attacks.
The sources say both men were known to speak sympathetically about the hijackers who attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The newspaper says Mr. Muhammad is a Muslim convert who changed his name from John Allen Williams last year.
But the sources said neither man is believed to have links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network, which the Bush administration says carried out the September 11th attacks.
The arrests followed a call to the police tip line that tied the sniper to a liquor store robbery in the city of Montgomery, Alabama. Police reportedly found a fingerprint of Mr. Malvo's there, then traced Mr. Malvo to a house in the northwestern city of Tacoma, Washington.
Wednesday, police searched a house in Tacoma, where Mr. Muhammad had been stationed while in the U-S Army. A few hours later, police issued a nationwide alert for the Chevy Caprice.