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Boston bomb suspect has throat injuries, may not be able to talk

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

(CNN) — The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings suffered an injury to his throat and may not be able to talk, a federal official told CNN on Saturday, possibly hindering attempts by authorities to question him about a motive in the attack.

With one suspect dead, authorities believe answers to a motive and whether the brothers had help rest with Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who was captured Friday night just minutes after authorities had indicated that a massive manhunt for the suspect appeared to come up empty.

The official, who was briefed on Tsarnaev’s condition, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Tsarnaev was in “serious but stable condition” and “not yet able to communicate yet,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick told reporters during an impromptu briefing on Saturday.

Federal prosecutors are at the heavily guarded Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where Tsarnaev is being treated for wounds.

Authorities have not publicly detailed the injuries sustained by the teen, but an official who has been briefed said Tsarnaev has been “intubated and sedated.” The official also spoke on condition of anonymity.

“I, and I think all of the law enforcement professionals, are hoping for a host of reasons that the suspect survives, because we have a million questions, and those questions need to be answered. There are parts of the investigation, in terms of information and evidence, that still needs to be run to ground,” Patrick said.

Authorities have not said whether they have questioned Tsarnaev, nor have they publicly said what charges will be filed against the teen. But a Justice Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told CNN the teen will face federal terrorism chargesand possibly state murder charges.

The government has invoked the public safety exception, a designation that allows investigators to question the teen without reading him his Miranda rights and without a lawyer present, another Justice Department official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, told CNN.

Tsarnaev, 19, and his older brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, are accused of setting off two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people and leaving more than 170 wounded.

The arrest of Tsarnaev brought to an end a manhunt that paralyzed Cambridge, Watertown and Boston as authorities searched door to door for a suspect not only believed to be behind the bombings, but who they feared also could unleash more explosives.