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FBI identifies suspect in attempted bombing at Colorado mall

The FBI issues a nationwide alert in a search for Earl Albert Moore, 65, who was seen on surveillance video. Officials say he is probably armed and dangerous.

April 24, 2011|By Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times
  • The FBI has identified Earl Albert Moore, 65, as the suspect in the attempted bombing of a suburban mall in Colorado and has issued a nationwide alert to find him.
The FBI has identified Earl Albert Moore, 65, as the suspect in the attempted… (FBI )

Reporting from Denver — The FBI identified a 65-year-old man with a raft of aliases as the suspect in the attempted bombing of a suburban shopping mall on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre and issued a nationwide alert Sunday, warning that he is probably armed and dangerous.

Earl Albert Moore is the lone suspect in the case, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said. It listed five aliases for him and said he had an "extensive" criminal background.

One week before Wednesday's attempted bombing, the FBI said, Moore had been released from federal prison after serving a sentence for armed bank robbery in West Virginia.

Authorities found a pipe bomb and two propane tanks while extinguishing a small fire in the Southwest Plaza food court. The mall is less than two miles from Columbine High School, where in 1999 two students killed 13 people before turning guns on themselves. The mall, which can have as many as 10,000 shoppers at its busiest, was evacuated for hours.

There was no explicit link to the high school massacre, but the timing made people suspicious and anxious. The local school district restricted access to 25 schools as a precaution.

Attention swiftly turned to grainy pictures captured by surveillance cameras of a balding man with a mustache who was spotted leaving the area at the time of the attempted bombing. Investigators were not able to identify him until Sunday.

It remained unclear whether Moore was still in Colorado. In a statement, the FBI said it was conducting a nationwide hunt and asked the media to distribute images of Moore.

The agency said Moore is about 6 feet tall, weighs 200 to 220 pounds and has a gray mustache and multiple tattoos, including one of a viking. His aliases include Earl Buchanan, Morelli Buchanon, John Lindzy, Donald Morelli and Gary Steele.

Authorities urged anyone with information about his whereabouts to call 911 or the Jefferson County tip line at (303) 271-5615.

nicholas.riccardi@latimes.com

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