On Monday afternoon at a media event, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick stressed that the fate of Tsarnaev's body rests with his family.
"First of all, this isn't a state or a federal issue. It's the family's issue," the governor said, responding to a reporter's question. "And the family has some options. I assume they will make a decision soon. I hope they do. I think everybody is feeling upset about what happened."
A reporter asked: "Do communities have a right to refuse the body?"
"I don't know about right," Patrick answered. "I think, if you're asking about legal rights and so forth, I don't know the answer to that. But I understand that the family does have some options, and I expect they will make a decision soon."
Asked if he opposed burying Tsarnaev in Massachusetts, Patrick said, "I don't have a comment about that or a point of view."
On Sunday, Tsarnaev's uncle Ruslan Tsarni was the only relative at Stefan's funeral home.
Tsarni, who decried the bombing suspects as "losers" after the attacks, performed the Islamic tradition of preparing a body for burial, washing and shrouding it.
He said he had not been in contact with Katherine Russell, his nephew's widow.
"I'm left alone to deal with this matter," Tsarni said. "And I want to stress that Tamerlan Tsarnaev has no other place to be buried. There's no other place who would accept his body."
Tsarnaev's uncle wants him buried in Cambridge, Massachusetts, arguing that it's his nephew's home. "He grew up here," Tsarni said.
But town officials have strongly rejected the idea.
"The difficult and stressful efforts of the citizens of the City of Cambridge to return to a peaceful life would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests, and widespread media presence at such an interment," City Manager Robert W. Healy said in a statement Sunday.
Stefan suggested Monday that he and the family are considering appealing to a Muslim cemetery outside Massachusetts. And yet, that might not work either, he fears.
"I feel the same problem exists when the neighbors and the people find out what we're doing," Stefan said.
He added that most of the cemeteries in Massachusetts are nonsectarian with a section set aside for Muslims.
"The only true Muslim cemetery is in Connecticut," he said, without naming the cemetery he was referring to.
"At this point, any outcome would be better than nothing," Stefan said.
And he will continue to try to bring this painful experience -- for everyone -- to an end.
Stefan has said that if no grave site is found, he plans to ask the U.S. government to find one.
"This is a big problem, and somebody has to step in and say, 'Look, we're going to have to do something here,' " he said.