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Suspect held in placing of bomb, tanks in mall

A man suspected of leaving a homemade bomb at a Colorado shopping mall was captured without a fight outside a grocery store about 30 miles away Tuesday following a nationwide alert from the FBI warning that he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Federal and local officials allege Earl A. Moore, 65, planted a pipe bomb and propane tanks in the Southwest Plaza Mall in the south Denver suburbs last week. The explosives were found last Wednesday after a fire in a hallway at the mall's food court, but they didn't detonate.

The discovery -- on the 12th anniversary of the Columbine shootings just two miles away from the school -- initially raised concerns about whether it was connected to the school attack because they both occurred around the same time of day and because a pipe bomb and propane tanks were also found at Columbine, where teenage gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher. But authorities now say the bomb had nothing do with Columbine.

FBI agents have said they have determined a motive, but they refused to reveal it Tuesday.

Police arrested Moore after a shopper spotted him having a cup of coffee in a Starbucks inside a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder. Authorities said he was unarmed and officers didn't have to draw their weapons.

Officials identified Moore as the suspect on Sunday after viewing surveillance video showing him in the mall and on a bus. The FBI then alerted its field offices covering all 50 states and Puerto Rico to be on the lookout for Moore, who was released from prison a week before the explosives were found.

It's unclear where Moore spent the past six days, but FBI spokesman Dave Joly said he was homeless. He is due to appear in court today.

Kelli McGannon, a spokeswoman for the King Soopers supermarket chain, said the shopper who spotted Moore alerted a store manager and then dialed 911.

McGannon said a police officer inside the store began watching Moore, but it wasn't clear if the officer had identified Moore independently or was reacting to the 911 call. Moore was in the store for about an hour, McGannon said.

Moore left through a side door, possibly suspecting he was being watched, McGannon said. He was arrested outside by officers responding to the 911 call.

Police and store security searched the supermarket after Moore's arrest and said they didn't find anything suspicious.

Moore has an extensive criminal record. Public records show he lived in Colorado at least part time from the mid-1980s to 2004.

Federal Bureau of Prisons records show that Moore was released from prison April 13 after serving time in a federal prison in Atlanta and Estill, S.C. Federal court record show that Moore pleaded guilty in May 2005 to robbing a bank in Crab Orchard, W.Va., of $2,546.

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