NEW YORK -- On Tuesday police were combing through physical evidence, looking for any clues that could shed light on the identities of two armed men who robbed Tiffany & Co. of about $1.25 million worth of jewelry near midnight on Sunday.

The New York City police said they hoped to release a photo or sketch of one or both of the robbers shortly. The guards who were on duty at the time are reviewing photos of known felons, and if they don't make any identification, they will be asked to work with a police artist.

While the robbers' knowledge of Tiffany's security operations, including the schedules of its security guards and the location of video cameras, point to an inside job, Capt. Salvatore Blando, commander of the Third Division detectives, cautioned against drawing premature conclusions.

"There's still the possibility that they cased the place really well," he said. The two men gained entry through the employee/delivery entrance, after one walked up behind a guard and stuck a pistol in his ribs.

"Obviously, these robbers had a lot of inside information," said William R. Chaney, chairman of Tiffany's, on Tuesday. "They had acquired information about certain elements of our security system, which might have been difficult to acquire just by casing."

But Chaney said there had been no breach of security.

"Our procedures were followed," Chaney insisted. "Our security system is ordinarily very tight. There were two individuals with firearms who were able to force their way in."

Nonetheless, Tiffany is strengthening its security system.

"The history of our successful security system would indicate that it has always been very sound, but there are additional steps we can and have taken," Chaney said, declining to elaborate.

"It's additional assurance that would make it impossible for something like this to happen again."

Lloyds of London, Tiffany's insurer, is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robbers.

On Tuesday, Chaney characterized traffic in the store as normal or above normal.

"The staff is very confident," he said. "Our customers are sympathetic and very supportive. A number of customers who had been looking at particular items called to make sure we still have them."

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