UPDATE: Social Media Fueling Search for Accused Child Sex Predator

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - The FBI continues to look for an accused child sexual predator.

Thursday morning, the FBI said it is now believed tips from the public have led to the identification and location of the man in the photographs known as John Doe 27.  It's believed he's in the Midwest region of the United States.   The FBI said it continues to work the case and has determined no additional publicity of the images is necessary.  The FBI expressed its gratitude to the public for its vigilance and assistance in the case.  We'll keep you posted if an arrest is made.

On Tuesday, the FBI released several images of the man they are calling John Doe 27.

The designation comes from the fact that investigators say he's the 27th child sex predator the FBI has asked for the public's help in identifying since 2004. So far, 17 have been located and captured.

Investigators hope the same holds true for the man who they say was recorded sexually abusing a child at his home. The video was posted to a child pornography forum in April. In it, he is referred to as "Jimmy" and speaks with a southern accent.

Those slim leads, while useful, weren't enough to for authorities to identify the man or pinpoint his location. So, the FBI turned to the media and the public.

In just 24 hours, more than 1,600 WHNT 19 viewers had shared the images - either from WHNT.com or through our station's Facebook page. The images include a fairly clear picture of the man who appears to be in his 40s or 50s. He has brown hair, graying sideburns and a bald spot. In the images, he's wearing a ring on his right hand.

Investigators were also able to enhance a picture of a very distinctive chair from the video. Jim Russell, Senior Supervisory Resident Agent for the Huntsville FBI Field Office, says, "if anybody's been in that house, we think they would be immediately recognizable."

Anyone who recognizes the man or the furnishings from his home is asked to please call the FBI tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI. Callers may remain anonymous.

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