There were angry scenes at a pre-inquest hearing, as the families of the Birmingham pub bombing victims were told they might not get to hear any evidence on who built or planted the explosives.
Twenty one people lost their lives in the blasts, which hit two city centre pubs in November 1974.
Six people were wrongfully convicted of the attacks in 1975, one of the most infamous miscarriages of justice in British legal history.
Lawyers for government agencies, including West Midlands Police, have opposed the inclusion of identifying potential perpetrators, on the basis that there is currently no "significant information" as to who they might be.
Lawyers for the inquest, which are due to resume in the autumn, argued it was not in a coroner's remit to investigate criminal responsibility.
His comments prompted an outburst from one victim's relative, who shouted "This is a farce."
The coroner reserved his judgment on the issue, to await further submissions from KRW Law who are currently representing 10 families.