Earl Albert Moore Suspected Of Planting Bomb Near Columbine

FBI Identifies Man Suspected Of Planting Bomb Near Columbine, May Be 'Armed And Dangerous'

DENVER (Reuters/Keith Coffman) - The FBI on Sunday identified a recently paroled bank robber as the man suspected of planting a bomb at a crowded shopping mall near Columbine High School last week on the 12th anniversary of the school massacre.

Earl Albert Moore, 65, who remains at large, "is considered armed and dangerous and has an extensive criminal background," the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force said in a news release.

Previously described as a "person of interest" in the investigation and pictured in surveillance camera images released to the public last week, the FBI said Moore is suspected of placing a pipe bomb near two propane tanks at the Southwest Plaza mall in suburban Denver on April 20.

Firefighters responding to a fire at the mall discovered the explosive device.

The mall, occupied by an estimated 10,000 employees and shoppers at the time, was evacuated as a precaution. But the bomb did not go off, no one was hurt, and the blaze caused minimal damage to the retail complex, located about a mile from Columbine.

Moore was paroled from federal prison on April 13 after serving time for his conviction in the 2005 robbery of a West Virginia bank, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

He was originally sentenced to 18 years in prison, but a federal judge cut his sentence to seven years at the behest of prosecutors who said Moore had provided them with "substantial assistance in investigating or prosecuting another person."

Federal law enforcement officials have called the planned mall bombing an act of "domestic terrorism."

The suspect, initially referred to as a "person of interest" sought for questioning, appeared in still photos and video footage captured by surveillance cameras as a man with a mustache, baseball cap and dark jacket carrying a plastic grocery bag in one hand.

On Sunday, the FBI identified Moore as the target of their manhunt and released booking photographs of Moore from a prior arrest.

The latest series of photos show Moore with multiple tattoos on his arms, including one of a Viking, a dagger, and what appears to be a rose.

Police were probing the similarity to the devices placed in the mall to those that students Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris had in their arsenal when they stormed Columbine High on April 20, 1999.

The two heavily armed seniors -- just weeks shy of graduation -- shot dead 12 other students, a teacher and themselves. It was at that time the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

Moore is described as bald, between 6 feet and 6-feet-2 inches tall weighing between 200 and 225 pounds.

The FBI said Moore goes by several aliases, including John Lindzy, Earl Buchanan, Donald Morelli and Gary Steele.

(Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Bohan)

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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