White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, deflecting criticism over the Libya terror attack, argued Wednesday that "Benghazi happened a long time ago." 

But despite the nearly eight months that have elapsed since then, the FBI is only now producing photos of individuals they'd like to bring in for questioning. 

The release of the grainy images comes as the House plans another Benghazi hearing next week. It also comes after Fox News reported that U.S. officials have identified the mastermind of the attack, who according to sources is walking free in Libya. 

Coincidence? Yes, according to the FBI. 

An FBI spokesman said the bureau had long been moving toward publishing the images, and denied any connection between recent media coverage of Benghazi and the release. 

"Our plan to publicize these photos was in the works for weeks," the spokesman said. 

It's unclear how long the bureau had the images, and whether it kept them private for investigative reasons. 

No names were given in connection with the individuals shown in the latest pictures. In its statement, the FBI claimed the individuals were at the U.S. compound when it was attacked on Sept. 11. 

"We are seeking information about three individuals who were on the grounds of the U.S. Special Mission when it was attacked," the FBI said in the statement. "These individuals may be able to provide information to help in the investigation." 

The FBI is encouraging anyone with information to text or email BenghaziTips@ic.fbi.gov or submit information confidentially by going to https://forms.fbi.gov/benghazi.