Detectives have released an e-fit likeness of the man who helped a prisoner escape while being transported to hospital.
Andrew Farndon escaped after prison guards were threatened by a gunman as he arrived at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, from Highpoint Prison on Wednesday night.
The man with the gun is described as white, in his mid-40s, around 5ft 8insl, of stocky build, possibly with a Scottish accent and wearing a white top and blue jeans.
Det Chief Insp Nick Bennett, who is leading the investigation, said: “We have received a number of calls from members of the public from around the country in relation to the inquiry and we have now identified the witnesses in the CCTV images previously released and been in contact with further witnesses to the incident.
“I would still like to take this opportunity to re-appeal to anyone with information in relation to this incident, particularly the whereabouts of Andrew Fardon, to get in touch immediately.
“We are keeping an open mind as to where he is – he could be anywhere in the United Kingdom. He is a potentially dangerous man and determined efforts are being made by ourselves and forces across the county to trace him and his accomplice.”
Police forces nationwide have joined the hunt for Farndon, who made the “planned” escape as he arrived at the hospital’s accident and emergency department at 6.50pm on Wednesday.
It is understood the 26-year-old, whose family live in the Coventry area, inflicted a serious knife wound on himself in prison before being taken to the hospital in a taxi.
When the jail party arrived, the gunman confronted the male and female prison officials.
The female guard, to whom Farndon was handcuffed, was forced at gunpoint to release him and the two men fled across the car park, Suffolk Police said.
Farndon is described as white with a goatee beard, and was wearing a dark blue baseball cap and a light-coloured jumper.
Farndon previously escaped by leaping from the dock at Coventry Crown Court in 2007, but was sentenced in his absence to an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP) and told he must serve at least two years before being considered for parole.
He was found guilty of grievous bodily harm after a hammer attack that left his victim with a fractured skull, but officials only classed him as a category C prisoner – meaning he was deemed unlikely to make a determined escape attempt.