Cops look for clues at killerís home, unearth booby traps
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Authorities on Saturday began the intricate process of disarming booby traps in the apartment of the suspect behind the Colorado movie theatre rampage that killed 12 people, hoping to find clues to the motive for the shooting without causing an explosion that could destroy key evidence.
Scores of law enforcement officials, including bomb squad technicians and dozens of federal agents, removed one trip wire and one explosive device inside James Holmes' apartment on Saturday, and "other devices" are in there, Aurora police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson said. "We have been successful in defeating the first threat," she said.
Holmes, 24, was arrested early on Friday outside the suburban Denver theatre with high-powered weapons and ammunition and charged with the rampage that killed 12 and injured 58 during the midnight showing of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
Seven of the wounded remained in a critical condition on Saturday, some with injuries that could be permanent, a trauma surgeon said.
Police had delayed entering Holmes' apartment on Friday after learning it had been booby-trapped and evacuated several buildings around it.
Experts entered the apartment on Saturday and began to disarm the trip wires one by one to render them harmless, hoping not to detonate anything that could eliminate evidence against the suspect or information about a motive. "We don't want to lose evidential value," Carlson said.
Police grimly went door to door late on Friday with a list of victims killed in the worst mass shooting in the US in recent years.
Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said Holmes had bought the weapons at local gun stores within the last two months. He also recently purchased 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the Internet, the chief said.
The suspect's stellar academic record, apparent shy demeanour and lack of a criminal background made the attack even more difficult to fathom.
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