THE holiday visas of two men who fled to New York after their suspected involvement in the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe are due to expire in the coming weeks.
There is fresh hope among gardai that the individuals will be deported from the United States where they can then be questioned about the murder of the garda at the Lordship Credit Union in Co Louth last January.
The suspects, who were compelled to meet gardai under US law, refused to answer any questions put to them by gardai in the presence of American police.
A source explained: "Time is running out for these nasty individuals -- they again showed their contempt for their actions when they met gardai in the United States.
"But they know and gardai know that time is ticking away for them in relation to their holiday visas running out. If or when they are deported they can be arrested by either the PSNI or gardai.
"It is highly unlikely that there will be any major developments in relation to this investigation before the anniversary of Adrian's death on January 25 next, but things could move with real pace after that."
The suspects, including the criminal who is believed to have fired the shotgun at the detective, cannot be extradited unless the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) rules that they should face criminal charges. But they can be deported if they overstay their visas.
Garda Donohoe (left) was blasted in the head with a shotgun when he confronted a gang on rural roads near his home on the Cooley peninsula.
He had been accompanying cash lifts from the local credit unions on the night of Friday, January 25.
A Volkswagen Passat with a 08-D registration plate was found burnt out near a forest in south Armagh after the murder. It was identified as being stolen from Clogherhead, Co Louth, three days before the raid and is believed to have been the getaway car.
Two men have already been questioned about stealing the Passat but no charges have been made.
The five-man gang, which includes two brothers, are all from south Armagh.
It is understood that the PSNI have quizzed a number of the gang members believed to have been involved in the detective's murder, including a young woman who provided an alibi for her boyfriend who is suspected of being at the scene on the night of the murder.
This suspect has not fled to the United States.