Colo. mall bomb suspect caught; no word on motive
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — A man suspected of leaving a homemade bomb at a Colorado shopping mall was captured without a fight outside a grocery store some 30 miles away Tuesday following a nationwide alert in which the FBI warned he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Federal and local officials allege 65-year-old Earl Albert Moore planted a pipe bomb and propane tanks in the Southwest Plaza Mall in the south Denver suburbs last week. The explosives were found April 20 after a fire in a hallway at the mall’s food court, but they didn’t detonate.
The discovery — on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine shootings just two miles away — initially raised concerns about whether it was connected to the school attack because they both occurred around the same time of day and because a pipe bomb and propane tanks were also found at Columbine, where teenage gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher. But authorities now say the bomb had nothing do with Columbine.
FBI agents have said they have found a motive, but they refused to reveal it Tuesday.
Police arrested Moore after a shopper spotted him having a cup of coffee in a Starbucks inside a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder. Authorities said he was unarmed and officers didn’t have to draw their weapons.
Officials identified Moore as the suspect on Sunday after viewing surveillance video showing him in the mall and on a bus. The FBI then alerted its field offices covering all 50 states and Puerto Rico to be on the lookout for Moore, who was released from prison a week before the explosives were found.
It’s unclear where Moore spent the past six days but FBI spokesman Dave Joly said he was homeless. He’s due to appear in court Wednesday.
Kelli McGannon, a spokeswoman for the King Soopers supermarket chain, said the shopper who spotted Moore alerted a store manager and then dialed 911.