"The more we find out about him, the less we seem to know him," CBS' Bob Schieffer said.

As the day went on, networks found it harder to fill the time. Video of the overnight firefight was played over and over. NBC's Brian Williams had a fascinating interview with a couple who lived overlooking the street where the gunplay took place, describing bullets that came into their home. But it turned long-winded.

Williams later reacted with aplomb when NBC briefly cut to a simulcast of a New England cable news network, only to be greeted by a man who uttered an expletive.

"Well, that was a fortuitous time to dip into the coverage of New England Cable News," Williams said, apologizing to viewers as NBC quickly switched away.

Individual networks were able to show strengths during the coverage. ABC's Bianna Golodryga used her fluency in Russian to conduct interviews with the suspects' father. On CBS, John Miller and Bill Bratton displayed their police connections in a knowledgeable and low-key manner.

NBC's star-crossed "Today" show had sent Matt Lauer to Texas on Friday to the scene of a fertilizer plant explosion, where he was largely forgotten. Earlier in the week, Savannah Guthrie's interview with President Barack Obama was overlooked because it happened hours before the marathon bombings.

Lauer's absence gave Guthrie her greatest visibility since she joined "Today" last summer, however, as she led NBC's coverage.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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