Investigators initially questioned 17-year-old sniper suspect John Lee Malvo for more than seven hours, his court-appointed attorney Michael Arif told reporters Friday.
The Washington Post quotes law enforcement sources as saying the interrogation lasted into early Friday and marked the first time either sniper suspect had spoken productively about the shootings with authorities.
The sources would not tell the Post what Malvo revealed, but they said the session in Fairfax County yielded important information. One source described Malvo to the newspaper as "chatty." Another source said Malvo provided facts that would be helpful to prosecutors, the Post reports in its Saturday editions.
By contrast, John Allen Muhammad maintained a steely silence as Prince William County detectives tried to talk to him, law enforcement sources said to the Post. In fact, during his booking, he was reluctant even to give his name, they said.
Word of the interrogations came on the day that Malvo and Muhammad, the suspects in the Washington area sniper shootings that killed 10 people and wounded three others last month, made their first appearances in Virginia courts, where they face separate trials on capital murder charges. Neither entered a plea, but judges have appointed experienced lawyers to represent them.
Arif complained that police questioned Malvo without a lawyer present. "I'm not at all comfortable with a 17-year-old being in police custody for that long without representation," said Arif, described by the Post as a veteran death penalty attorney. He said he would ask a judge to toss out any inappropriate statements Malvo may have made.
Authorities also said they found a file on a laptop computer recovered from Muhammad's car that contains details of his and Malvo's travels and descriptions of some of the shootings, sources told the Post.
One source described the document to the Post as a "daily journal of where they were and what they did." Law enforcement sources also told the newspaper some of the shooting sites were marked on the document with skulls and crossbones.
Investigators believe the journal left on the laptop might even delineate the specific role each suspect played in at least some of the crimes, one Post source said.
Friday, The New York Times reported that the laptop contained a "virtual diary" of the suspects' travels and provides strong evidence against the men.
Authorities said the laptop belonged to Paul LaRuffa, who was shot six times at close range as he was closing his restaurant in Clinton, Md. around 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 5.
His assailant swiped $3,000 in receipts and the Sony laptop, police said.
On Friday, LaRuffa was incredulous.
"The fact I was shot is mind-boggling, and the fact that it is linked (to the string of sniper attacks) is even more unbelievable to me," the 55-year-old businessman said.
Police said evidence ties the sniper suspects to the LaRuffa shooting, raising the number of shootings linked to the pair nationwide to 19.
The shooting also pushes the date of the first known sniper shooting to Sept. 5, nearly a month before Muhammad, 41, and Malvo allegedly went on a killing spree.
Clinton is the same town where Muhammad's ex-wife, Mildred, lived with her sister. Mildred Muhammad had fled there from Washington because she feared her husband would hurt her, according to court documents.
The motive for the killing spree remains uncertain, but Mildred Muhammad said her former husband's chief purpose in coming to the area was to kill her. The two had separated in 2000 and later had a custody dispute.
"I'm sure he had me in his scope," she said in an interview in Friday's Washington Post. "This was an elaborate plan to make this look like I was a victim so he could come in as the grieving father and take the children."
LaRuffa said he is glad the suspected snipers are being prosecuted, and added that he's recovering "really well." LaRuffa had said in an earlier interview he had been shot with a .22-caliber weapon.
Also Friday, a Virginia prosecutor said Malvo's fingerprints were the only ones found on the rifle used in the sniper attacks.
CBS News legal consultant Andrew Cohen says this adds to "the notion that fingerprints are going to be key both to the government's case and to the defense."
The Los Angeles Times reports in its Saturday editions that eighteen months before the shooting spree began, Muhammad smuggled his teenage companion into America from Antigua, the remote Caribbean island, with forged documents identifying the boy as his firstborn son. The LA Times cites Antiguan government documents and official accounts.
Newly uncovered immigration documents have convinced Antiguan authorities that Muhammad illegally brought the Jamaican-born Lee Boyd Malvo into America along with three of his children in May 2001, the LA Times says. Antigua's top investigator of Muhammad's 14-month stay in Antigua now says that trip culminated more than a year of "serial document forgery" by Muhammad that compromised America's borders and Antigua's sovereignty.
In the U.S., federal authorities have given Virginia prosecutors the first crack at prosecuting the suspects, saying the state has the best chance of obtaining the death penalty. No trial has been scheduled.
At the teenager's initial court appearance Friday, Fairfax County prosecutor Robert F. Horan Jr. said eyewitnesses had spotted Malvo at three of the fatal crime scenes. The teen was ordered held without bail.
Horan also said Malvo tried to escape shortly after being taken into custody by crawling up into the ceiling at a Baltimore lockup. His escape was foiled when he fell through the ceiling tiles into a nearby office.
A few miles away, Muhammad made his first appearance in a Virginia court Friday and a judge said he would appoint a lawyer for him.
Last week, Horan said without elaborating that there was "an equal possibility" either Malvo or Muhammad gunned down FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot on Oct. 14 in Fairfax. Malvo is charged in that case.
Horan would not discuss evidence in detail, but he said after the hearing that only Malvo's fingerprints were found on the .223-caliber Bushmaster XM15 semiautomatic rifle authorities believe was used in the killing spree. The gun was found in the men's car after their arrest.
Malvo attorney Arif dismissed the importance of the fingerprints. He said Malvo, who faces two counts of capital murder and a firearms charge, will plead innocent.
Malvo will be held in an adult jail until a Dec. 5 hearing.
In adjacent Prince William County, Muhammad was formally charged with killing Dean Meyers as he pumped gas at a Manassas gas station Oct. 9. Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. asked Muhammad if he wanted a court-appointed lawyer.
"I thought I already had counsel," Muhammad replied, referring to a lawyer appointed earlier by a federal court.
The judge explained that Muhammad didn't have a lawyer to face the Virginia charges and again asked him if he wanted one appointed. Muhammad responded, "I don't know what to say, sir."
The judge appointed defense attorney Peter Greenspun, who later declined to comment on the case.
Muhammad's public defender in Maryland, James Wyda, denounced the federal government's decision to move him to Virginia, calling it "clumsy, macabre forum-hopping for the cheapest and easiest way to obtain the death penalty."