Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Wednesday that the department plans to release surveillance images of "potential persons of interest'' in the apparent hate crime attack on actor-singer Jussie Smollett.

Smollett reported to police early Tuesday that he was outside at about 2 a.m. to pick up food when two men asssaulted him, tossed an unknown chemical on him and put a rope around his neck, while making homophobic and racist remarks.

The "Empire" star was briefly hospitalized and treated for his injuries. Police said the incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Guglielmi told the Chicago Tribune the images the police found did not capture the altercation.

"They are outside on a street walking. They are in the area that we have determined it could have taken place ... in the time and the area,'' Guglielimi said of the persons of interest.

"It certainly leads us to have questions for them.'' quoted Guglielimi as saying a community alert with the photos is being put together in hopes members of the public will help identify the people in the images so police can talk to them.

Numerous celebrities, including Halle Berry, Michael B. Jordan and Lee Daniels, offered their support to Smollett on Tuesday and Wednesday, condemning the attack.

Photo credit: Dominick D