Police spokesman Dave Estrada says the backpacks were discovered Tuesday evening, a year after two bombs in backpacks exploded at the end of the marathon and killed three people.
The bomb squad is checking the backpacks found Tuesday. Police have cleared the area. Trains are bypassing the nearby Copley Square station. The police department has tweeted asking people to avoid the area.
Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in last year's Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes. Former Mayor Thomas Menino spoke at the nearby Hynes Convention Center.