Manhunt Under Way In Southwest Plaza Investigation
LITTLETON, Colo (CBS4) – Police across the nation are now looking for a man suspected of planting a bomb and propane tanks at Southwest Plaza.
Investigators identified him over the weekend as Earl Albert Moore. He was released from prison in Georgia a week before the bombing attempt last week.
Moore, 65, is considered armed and dangerous and has an extensive criminal background.
The incident happened on April 20 and started with fire crews putting out a small fire at the mall. Authorities then found a pipe bomb and two small propane tanks that failed to detonate. The materials were found in an area where there are usually no shoppers, and investigators believe the bomb was meant to be a trigger for the tanks.
A source close to the investigation told CBS4 forensic evidence found at the scene is how agents were able to pinpoint the suspect and name him.
Moore was seen in security images and video released last week both in the mall and in an RTD bus close to the mall. In all of the images he is carrying a large plastic bag.
Officials said these are his tattoos:
Moore’s criminal history includes dangerous drug possession, larceny, possession of burglary tools and fugitive arrest. He was also convicted in a bank robbery in West Virginia in March 2005. The indictment says he got away with about $2,500 and assaulted some employees. He had been serving an 18 year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Estill, S.C. The sentence was reduced to 7 years, and under the federal system inmates can earn 57 days of good time per year.
In one of the surveillance images of Moore from last week a University of South Carolina logo can be seen on his baseball hat. It appears he might have been wearing a hat with that team logo because it is popular in the state where he was incarcarated.
Moore’s last known address is an apartment complex a few miles away. A resident of the Pines apartments off Quincy Avenue told CBS4 he hasn’t seen the suspect around and doesn’t believe he lives there.
The suspect has used several different aliases, according to official documents. They include John Lindsey, Earl Buchanan, Morelli Buchanan, Donald Morelly and Gary Steele.
The timing of the bombing attempt — the incident happened on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine tragedy — has raised questions about whether a motive might be linked to the shooting rampage at Columbine High School, but so far that remains only speculation.
Anyone with information about the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office tip line at (303) 271-5615.