Earl Albert Moore Faces Federal Arson Charges
DENVER (CBS4)– The suspect in the attempted bombing at Southwest Plaza went before a federal judge in Denver on Wednesday afternoon.
Earl Albert Moore, 65, is now facing federal charges of arson to a public building and real property in interstate commerce, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday. He was advised of those charges in his initial court appearance Wednesday at about 2 p.m.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Robert Pepin, Moore’s appointed attorney, told the magistrate, “I’ve advised Mr. Moore not to talk with anybody,” and specifically mentioned law enforcement officers. “He will not be giving a statement to law enforcement.”
Pepin told the magistrate that shortly before Moore was released from prison he’d been diagnosed with prostate cancer and has treatable Hepatitis C.
Pepin said Moore has been told by authorities that he’s going to be transferred soon to the detention wing of the Federal Correctional Institution in suburban Denver, to be held at least until his next court appearance.
The official documents describe the devices found inside the Southwest Plaza mall on April 20 after a small fire broke out.
The affidavit describes how an employee of a formal wear store in the mall smelled smoke and noticed the fire. Investigators found a device made of two 1 pound Coleman style propane tanks duct taped together. There was paper stuffed between them and burnt debris alongside them.
Newspaper was found stuffed between the tanks. The device had been placed on a ledge in between two sets of electrical meters and boxes.
Investigators also found several burnt wooden matches. There was also a pipe bomb made of galvanized steel with caps on both ends. When authorities tried to render the bomb safe one cap fell off and a black powder spilled out. A melted Target bag was also found attached to the device.
The contents of the device were sent to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va.
An examination of mall surveillance video revealed a man entering through a restricted entrance at 11:43 a.m. with a bag and leaving at 11:44 a.m. without it.
Investigators examined sureillance video and interviewed employees at a Target store nearby. It was determined the man in the photos had purchased a two pack of Coleman Propane cannisters and a roll of 1 inch Gorilla tape at 8:06 p.m. the night before the incident.
The man in the photos was then spotted on RTD bus video leaving the mall at 8:50 p.m. from a stop located behind the Target store.
An examination of DNA found on the bomb was run through a data basis called CODIS providing a positive match with Earl Albert Moore.
Photographs of Moore were obtained of Moore’s Colorado driver’s license and a booking picture at the Jefferson County jail. They appeared to be the same person seen in the surveillance photos and video.
On Sunday officials had said Moore was the prime suspect in the case and a nationwide manhunt was launched. Moore was spotted in a King Soopers in South Boulder on Monday morning and was arrested without incident.
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No possible motive is given in the court documents for the attempted bombing.
If he is convicted, Moore faces a penalty of up to 20 or possibly 25 years and a fine of $250,000.
Moore is next expected in court on May 6 at 1:30 p.m.