Law enforcement announced Monday afternoon that there was a "significant development" in the hostage situation in Alabama, set to be discussed at a press conference. Officials confirmed at a press conference that the suspect was dead, and the boy - who had been held hostage by 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes for seven days - had been released.

These preliminary reports came after people near the scene say they heard a loud "boom" before a flurry of activity on the hill where the boy was being held in Dykes' bunker.

Stay tuned for updates and video highlights. Tune in to Fox News for live coverage.

UPDATE, 10:20p ET: Alabama police hold press conference. The boy, Ethan, is said to be “laughing, joking, playing, eating, the things that you would expect a normal five or six year old young man to do."

Watch the press conference here.

UPDATE, 7:32p ET: Alabama Senator Harri Anne Smith, who was with the mother of the boy when she received word he'd been freed today, spoke to Shepard Smith. She said, "I kind of saw a little smile and they said she needed to go, and she said 'let me have a little hug.'"

Listen to her full account here.

UPDATE, 5:58p ET: A witness described

hearing an explosion at the scene of the bunker. Witness Bryon Martin said, “I was walking out my back door and heard a big boom and then I heard shots.”

Martin said he heard more than five or six shots and felt the ground shake.

UPDATE, 5:34p ET: Authorities in Alabama gave a brief press conference during which FBI official Steve Richardson said, "At approximately 3:12 this afternoon, FBI agents safely recovered the child who's been held hostage for nearly a week. Within the past 24 hours, negotiations deteriorated and Mr. Dykes was observed holding a gun. At this point, FBI agents, fearing the child was in imminent danger, entered the bunker and rescued the child. The child appears physically unharmed, and is being treated at a local hospital. The subject is deceased." Watch the video:

UPDATE, 5:30p ET: An official in Midland City, AL just gave the 5-minute warning for a news conference set to be held on the breaking news in the hostage standoff.

UPDATE, 5:26p ET: Fox News' Jonathan Serrie reports from Midland City, AL, awaiting press conference by Sheriff Wally Olson. He answered questions from 'The Five' on the current fluid situation.

UPDATE, 5:10p ET: The following was just reported by Reuters on the hostage situation in Midland City:

Authorities killed a gunman holding a 5-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker in rural Alabamaon Monday and plucked the child to safety without injury, a local law enforcement official said. "It's all over," said the official, who asked not to be identified by name because he had not been authorized to discuss the operation that led to the successful rescue of the child. "The boy is OK," he said.

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