Investigators identified the suspects by cross-checking surveillance footage with records of people who entered Britain at the time, the Press Association said, citing an unnamed source. Claiming that the substance used in the attack had been a Novichok-class nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union, London rushed to accuse Russian Federation of being involved in the incident. Security Minister Ben Wallace wrote on Twitter that he considered the news about suspects to be "ill-informed" and speculative.
Sky's Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt said: This would chime with the government's long-held belief that the Russian state was behind the attack on the Skripals, or at least had lost control of the nerve agent novichok which scientists say is made only in Russia.
Ms Sturgess fell ill on the morning of June 30 and died eight days later in Salisbury District Hospital, while Mr Rowley was left fighting for his life after also becoming contaminated.
But Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack. I want to hear from Scotland Yard, from the Foreign Office.
Russian Federation has consistently refused to extradite the men.Ms Sturgess, 44, died in Salisbury earlier this month, eight days after apparently coming into contact with novichok from the same batch used to attack the Skripals.
A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Tuesday and an inquest into her death is set to open and adjourn in Salisbury on Thursday.
Counter-terror detectives are trying to establish where the bottle came from and how it came to be in Mr Rowley's home.More news: Donald Trump willing to slap tariffs on all Chinese imports
A British station in Cyprus intercepted a coded Russian message to Moscow just after the poisoning saying that the pair had left the United Kingdom, it quoted the source as saying.
It is unclear where Rowley found the bottle, or whether it contained the same batch of nerve agent used on the Skripals.
Russian scientists have told state and worldwide media the Soviet Union developed the nerve agent at the closed town of Shikhany from the 1970s.
They deployed a team to "independently determine the nature of the substance" alleged to have resulted in the death of Sturgess and the poisoning of Rowley. For example, Austria refused to follow suit in expelling Russian diplomats.
The attack on the Skripals led to a diplomatic dispute with Russian Federation.
The team completed its work Wednesday and will submit the samples for analysis, according to the OPCW.