"I know it was an old-fashioned pressure cooker it seemed like, I know it wasn't a newer one," said a TSA agent.
In an exclusive interview, the TSA agent who found the pressure cooker says it was an alert American Airlines worker doing curbside check-ins who first noticed it. The concern law enforcement workers are facing now is whether this all could have been a dry run.
"It was literally like a shocker, you know? Why would an individual actually leave that curbside? Maybe it was a test run, you never know," adds the TSA agent.
The pressure cooker forced a full evacuation of Terminal A. It was eerily quiet and empty inside, with Port Authority, K9s and the bomb squad swarming outside.
Travelers meanwhile describing overall calm tinged with borderline panic.
"They said nothing, and that's what I found disturbing. Say something. Let us know what's happening," says Nadia Davis.
"They just blocked off Terminal A, so we went to Terminal B. We tried to get on the A train - the A train said they weren't letting anybody off at Terminal A due to police activity, so we went back to Terminal B, we went downstairs, we tried to walk across. The cops stopped us," adds Tameerah Jackson.
Jackson missed her flight. A holiday vacation that was supposed to start Saturday night will instead have to wait until Sunday morning.
Port Authority Police meanwhile are investigating who left the pressure cooker there and why.