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Suspect in mall devices set off dry-ice bomb before

9:38 PM, Jun 28, 2011   |    comments
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David J. Lawless, 30, was arrested Saturday night in Clear Creek County after the Colorado State Patrol identified him as the suspect wanted in connection with the attempted bombing of Colorado Mills Mall following a traffic accident. Troopers with the Colorado State Patrol then took him into custody.

Investigators realized he matched the description of the man wanted in connection to the Colorado Mills Mall incident and took him into custody. A statewide law enforcement bulletin was issued to give authorities surveillance pictures of the suspect and his vehicle.

"The key was getting information into the hands of law enforcement," Lakewood Police Chief Kevin Paletta said.

Lawless is also believed to be involved in an incident where windows were broken at the Denver West Best Buy store. Paletta says no device was found at the store.

"These appeared to be random crimes of opportunity. We believe he acted alone," Paletta said.

9NEWS has learned Lawless has a lengthy criminal record that includes an arrest and conviction for an incident where he set off a dry-ice bomb in the parking lot of Shotgun Willies in Glendale in 2005.

During the initial investigation in the early morning hours at the Borders on Saturday, investigators say they found two devices inside the book store and a third item outside of the mall near the entrance to Borders.

9NEWS has learned a suspect investigators believe to be Lawless shattered a glass door to the Borders, left one device on a tall table in the café area of the store and another device at a computer desk.

Ceiling tiles were missing above the desk where one of the devices was found, and a computer monitor that was mounted to the wall was damaged by the device.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, "The two small, crude devices partially functioned and caused no damage to the Colorado Mills Mall and minimal damage to a small area inside the Borders Bookstore."

There were no injuries reported and no threats were made to the Borders store or the mall prior to the incident.

"This wasn't a large event, It was something very small, contained, and controlled," FBI spokesperson Dave Joly said.

Joly says the FBI was first notified of the suspicious devices at 12:40 a.m. on Saturday.
The FBI says police responded to a store alarm going off and found someone had broken into the Borders store. Officers found two suspicious devices at the scene and called the Jefferson County Bomb Squad.

Although the Borders store was closed during the day Saturday, the rest of the mall remained open.

The Borders store was open for business on Sunday.

9Wants to Know spoke with Lawless' neighbor, Joyce Trujillo, who said he was "the best neighbor in the whole world."

Trujillo says Lawless was clear-cut, shy and well mannered.

If you have information for 9Wants to Know reporter Jace Larson, email him at

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