Who gets a piece of the half-million-dollar reward for the capture of the Washington-area sniper suspects may take awhile to decide, authorities said Tuesday.
Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose, who led the investigation into the sniper shootings last month, will head the team that decides who gets the reward.
Moose said Tuesday that officials are "very cognizant'' that the reward could create a situation where it appeared a witness was being paid for his testimony.
"Do not be upset if the process takes awhile, if it does not take place immediately,'' Moose said. "That's not going to happen. ... We want to be very careful.''
John Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17, are charged with murder in Maryland and Virginia in attacks that left 10 people dead and three others critically wounded in the Washington, D.C., area. They are also charged with slayings in Alabama and Louisiana. They are currently awaiting trial in Virginia.
Montgomery County, Md., Executive Doug Duncan said the sniper task force is sorting through about 60,000 tips that were received during the search for the snipers.
"We don't have an easy answer to that (reward) question,'' Duncan said at a news conference.
Of the $580,244.77 that was raised, $500,000 will be given out as a reward. The remainder will be given to victims of the shooting and their families. The money was donated by more than 900 contributors.