Police: Denver shooter's bomb had power to destroy complex

July 22, 2012 06:13

AURORA, Colo. - The sophisticated booby-trap devices Denver-area shooting suspect James Holmes set at his apartment could have killed first responders and destroyed the apartment complex in a massive inferno, an official involved in the probe said on Saturday.

Bomb experts entered the 800-square-foot apartment in the Denver suburb of Aurora after a controlled explosion on Saturday. Inside they found 30 aerial shells filled with gunpowder, two containers brimming with liquid accelerants and an unknown number of bullets left to explode in the resulting fire, according to a law enforcement official on the scene with expertise in improvised explosives.

"Given the amount of explosives that were there, if they detonated ideally, you would have had a very ample explosion with an ensuing thermal effect from the incendiary liquids that would have destroyed that apartment complex," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

"It's safe to say that whole building would have burned. The explosion would have certainly removed the interior walls in the building and some of the exterior walls" of the brick-built apartment complex, the source added.

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