The man whom the police have identified as a person of interest in the subway attack in Brooklyn appears to have posted dozens of videos on social media in recent years — lengthy rants in which he expressed a range of harshly bigoted views and, more recently, criticized the policies of New York City’s mayor, Eric Adams.
The man, Frank R. James, 62, has addresses in Wisconsin and Philadelphia, the police said. He is the subject of a search effort as investigators seek to determine any connection he may have had to the shooting at a Brooklyn subway station on Tuesday morning.
He was not named as a suspect, and the police identify someone as a person of interest when they believe the individual may have information related to a crime. But New York’s police commissioner, Keechant Sewell, said that citizens should call with any information they had on Mr. James.
Two law enforcement officials said that a credit card with Mr. James’s name on it had been found at the scene of the shooting, as had a key to a van that Mr. James had rented. It appeared that Mr. James had rented the van in Philadelphia sometime over the last several days, driven it close to the subway line where the attack occurred and abandoned it there, one official said. The van was found by the police in the late afternoon on Tuesday.
Separately, the authorities offered up to $50,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a suspect in the attack.
The police released a screenshot of Mr. James taken from a YouTube video posted by a channel belonging to the username prophetoftruth88.
The videos featured a man — who appeared to be the same man in a picture released by the police — delivering extended tirades, many of them overtly concerned with race and violence, often tying those subjects in with current events, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the policies of Mr. Adams. Two law enforcement officials said that Mr. James was the person featured in the channel’s videos.
In a video posted to YouTube on March 1, the person featured in the video criticized Mayor Eric Adams by name for recently announced policies addressing public safety in the subways, which focused on homeless people.
Ms. Sewell said at the news conference Tuesday that Mr. Adams’s security detail would be increased in light of the videos.
Another video on the channel, posted in 2020, appeared to have been taken in New York’s subways. In that video, the person holding the camera simply trains it on a crowded subway car.
Officials said that consumer-grade fireworks, gasoline and two unused smoke grenades had been recovered from the scene of a shooting, and a photograph circulated on social media on Tuesday appeared to show the fireworks, along with other material.
William Weimer, a vice president at Phantom Fireworks, said that a man named Frank James from Milwaukee, Wis., had purchased several brands of the fireworks seen in the photo from the Phantom Fireworks’ showroom outside of Racine, Wis., in June 2021.
Andy Newman and Ashley Southall contributed reporting.