James was arrested after police received advice from Crime Stoppers directing them to the East Village residential area in Manhattan, authorities said.
“My fellow New Yorkers, we’ve got him,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who is in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, told reporters in a video feed.
He will be charged with federal charges for allegedly committing an act of terrorism on public transit, US Attorney Breon Peace said.
Earlier on Wednesday, authorities called James a suspect rather than a person of interest.
Surveillance video obtained by NBC New York appears to show James swiping a subway card, trying to get into a station before Tuesday’s attack, giving authorities a better look at the suspect.
The change in language comes after another significant development in the ongoing investigation, with investigators linking the gun believed to be used in the Tuesday morning rush hour attack. with James and a pawn shop in Ohio, law enforcement sources said.
Cell phones vibrated shortly after James was identified as a suspect, urging New Yorkers to call authorities if they saw him.
Law enforcement said a 9mm Glock pistol left at the scene was tracked down by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigators to James and a pawn shop in Columbus. Sources say the suspect bought it there in 2011.
A $50,000 reward has been offered to find James, who police say has addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia.
He rented a U-Haul van, the key of which was found at the scene of a shooting in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, according to authorities.
The truck was discovered in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn, about 5 miles from the Sunset Park attack.
Investigators obtained surveillance video, filmed near that truck, showing the suspect entering a subway station, law enforcement sources said. Footage shows the lumpy person carrying a bag, similar to the one recovered at the scene of the shooting, into Kings Highway station, which serves the N line.
Tuesday’s shooting was carried out as an N train was traveling from Manhattan to the 36th Street station.
The bag left behind at the station included a variety of fireworks and other pyrotechnics that an Ohio fireworks seller believes they came from, he told NBC News.
Based on widely circulated photos of the bag, Phantom Fireworks CEO Bruce Zoldan says the images show four separate, exclusive items that are related to his business – and they were purchased by a 62-year-old man named Frank James last June in Wisconsin. .
“We found people (in sales records) who purchased two of those items, individuals who purchased three of those items, individuals who purchased one of those items,” said Zoldan. speak. “Only one person bought four of them, four to be exact.”
He ordered additional police officers on the subway on Tuesday and urged New Yorkers to continue using public transit, following the attack.
Adams retweeted the picture of City Hall staffers, who raced on Wednesday, added: “Proud of this team.”
Before the subway attack, James appeared to post some rambling videos on YouTube in which he voiced bigoted and controversial views as well as scathing criticism of Adams and his public safety policies and homeless outreach programs on the trains.
In a video posted Monday, he said he had experienced wanting to kill but not wanting to go to jail.
This is an evolving story. Please check back for updates.
David K. Li, Pete Williams and Alec Hernandez contribute.