It's not entirely clear why it took two hours to resolve the situation Wednesday night that left downtown SF BART stations massively crowded, and the entire system paralyzed. But BART police have identified the suspect.

A male suspect got down onto the BART tracks and into the Transbay Tube on Wednesday afternoon around 4:40 p.m., setting off alarms that BART has for such things. It seems like no one could find the guy after he disappeared into the tunnel, or he just quickly got out and blended back into the growing crowd of people at Embarcadero Station. Because it would be two hours before train service resumed between San Francisco and the East Bay.

The Chronicle spoke to stuck commuters, some of whom seem to have scrambled for ferries or transbay buses, and some of whom likely got rideshares across the Bay Bridge. Others waited out the lengthy delay, but there are some serious questions about how the BART agency itself handled the situation.

Very little communication came from BART to people entering stations. Those who were on trains in Embarcadero Station when the delay began were apparently told to "seek alternative transportation," but then it sounds like two hours elapsed in which platforms became increasingly crowded with people who had paid fares and hadn't heard the news.

BART tweeted a message at 5:02 p.m. explaining that there was a person on the tracks. It would be 5:55 p.m. before BART would follow up to say that an investigation of the tracks was ongoing, and at 6:26 p.m. the agency said that service had finally been restored.

While the Chronicle reports that BART has seen multiple repeat offenders in recent months and years who repeatedly get themselves onto BART tracks, disrupting service, it's not clear that Wednesday's suspect was one of those. In the hours after the incident, BART took the unusual step of tweeting out a surveillance image of the suspect, seeking the public's help identifying him. And they subsequently told the Chronicle Thursday that he has been identified, but it's not clear if an arrest has been made, and the suspect's name has not been released.

Update: Later Thursday, BART identified the suspect as Jerry Howard, posting a photo on X of Howard from behind, in handcuffs.

The agency said it was "very sorry for the service disruption this individual caused and we are looking to hold them accountable."

Previously: Major BART Delays After Person Walks Into Transbay Tube