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Thursday
Apr212011

Pipe Bomb Found in Colorado Mall; FBI Seeks Person of Interest

FBI - Denver(LITTLETON, Colo.) -- Authorities are searching for a person of interest in connection with the discovery of a pipe bomb and propane tanks after a fire at a Littleton, Colorado mall broke out on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

The suspicious devices were found Wednesday afternoon at the Southwest Plaza Mall after firefighters responded to a small blaze in a hallway near the mall's food court.

An estimated 6,000 to 10,000 people were evacuated from the mall around noon.  No injuries were reported, but officials said the fire caused some minor damage.

The incident comes on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting, where two of the school's students opened fire and killed 12 students and one teacher on April 20, 1999.  The two teens, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, committed suicide after the massacre.  They had also left pipe bombs in the school but the majority of them did not explode.

It's unclear whether Wednesday's incident is connected to the shooting anniversary but the mall is located near the high school.

Authorities said that if those devices had exploded, the damage and potential loss of life could have been catastrophic.

Late Wednesday night, FBI and law enforcement officials released a photo of a person of interest who was spotted on mall security cameras.

The person of interest is described as a white male with a grey hair with a silver mustache.  He was last wearing a dark cap, striped shirt, blue jeans and dark shoes.

In the surveillance photos, the man is seen holding a white plastic shopping bag.

"Surveillance tape gave a shot of an individual walking in with a bag, coming in a corridor that the public would not normally use.  And this individual possibly witnessed someone maybe coming in or out that area at the same time or he could possibly be involved," said FBI Spokesman Dave Joly.

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