Person Of Interest ID’d In Southwest Plaza Bomb Investigation
LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – The FBI has a person of interest in connection with the pipe bomb and propane tanks discovered at the Southwest Plaza Mall in Littleton. Agents are taking a close look at surveillance video which shows what they said is a suspicious-looking person near where the pipe bomb was found.
The FBI has released these surveillance pictures of the man they are looking for. The subject is describe as a white male, with graying hair, a silver mustache, wearing a dark colored cap with a light colored logo on the front, gray and white horizontally stripped shirt, dark jacket with silver buttons, blue jeans, and dark colored shoes.
Anyone with information about this man is asked to call Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office tipline at (303) 271-5615. Watch the FBI news conference from the Southwest Plaza Mall on Wednesday night below.
Members of the Jefferson County Bomb Squad found two propane tanks and a pipe bomb inside the mall after a fire broke out near the food court. The mall is expected to remain closed until Thursday.
The fire started at about 11:50 a.m. Wednesday. By 11:59 firefighters with West Metro Fire Rescue had extinguished the fire. Firefighters found a suspicious device at the origin of the fire, including two propane tanks and what was later revealed to be a pipe bomb.
No one is in custody. The investigation involving the FBI and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office continues.
The mall was evacuated as a precaution. Jefferson County officials said there are usually about 6,000 to 10,000 people in the mall around noon each day. About 300 employees also left the mall.
Multiple K-9 units with five dogs conducted sweeps of the mall. The Jefferson County Bomb Squad sent in a bomb robot to investigate the device. They are trying to figure out where the propane tanks and the pipe bomb came from.
When the robot attempted to pick up the pipe bomb, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jacki Kelley said it fell apart.
All south end Jefferson County R-1 schools were in lockout as a precaution Wednesday afternoon. By 2:40 p.m that lockout had been lifted.
The mall is about two miles from Columbine High School, where two student killed 12 classmates and a teacher before turning the guns on themselves. Unexploded pipe bombs and propane tanks were found in the school after the shootings.
When asked about a possible connection to the 12th anniversary of the shooting tragedy at Columbine High School Kelley responded, “Ultimately it can’t be ignored that today is the anniversary, it is something that will be looked at and is part of the investigation. It is disturbing that this is today.”