Investigators: Borders Bomb Suspect Tied To Hotel Explosion

David Lawless Charged With Arson, Use Of Destructive Device

The man suspected of setting off explosives devices at the Borders bookstore at Colorado Mills and breaking windows at a Best Buy is also accused in an explosion and fire at a nearby Marriott Hotel, according to the criminal complaint obtained by 7NEWS.

David Joseph Lawless, 30, admitted to investigators that he broke into the Borders store, put the explosive devices inside and lit the devices so they would detonate, prosecutors said.

Lawless was arrested on Saturday on suspicion of DUI and felony menacing in Clear Creek County. The felony menacing charges were filed because Lawless attempted to stab the arresting deputies with scissors, prosecutors said.

The vehicle Lawless was driving on Saturday matched that of the dark Toyota Tacoma seen on surveillance camera videos taken at the Colorado Mills area at the time of the incident at the Borders store, the criminal complaint said.

Borders Bookstore Investigation

The investigation began at 12:38 a.m. on Saturday when an alarm went off at the Borders store at Colorado Mills Mall on Colfax Avenue in Lakewood.

Police said they found the front door glass shattered and two suspected explosive devices inside and called the Jefferson County Bomb Squad.

The bomb squad found three devices, prosecutors said. The first device was outside the mall in a garbage container near the entrance to Borders. It was an aluminum water bottle type container filled with a powder and a fuse that was taped to a small propane tank, the complaint said.

The bomb squad found two more devices inside the store. One was similar to the device found outside, prosecutors said. That device had apparently exploded, damaging the ceiling tiles above it.

The second device inside the store was a large propane container left on a table, prosecutors said. A candle was left on a nearby table. It was not lit, but the wick had been burned. This device did not ignite, prosecutors said.

Investigators said they found what looked like blood inside Borders. Surveillance video showed a man who broke into the store apparently injuring his hand, prosecutors said.

FBI Investigates Second Incident

About seven hours later, the FBI was notified that several windows had been smashed at a Best Buy store a half mile away from the Borders. While no evidence was recovered from the Best Buy, surveillance cameras from the store showed a man driving a green Toyota Tacoma driving in and out of camera view, prosecutors said.

Deputies Called To Marriott Hotel

While police officers were investigating the devices at the Borders, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office was called to help West Metro Fire investigate an explosion and fire at the Marriott Hotel about one mile from the Borders.

Deputies found what appeared to be a melted plastic container at the scene, prosecutors said. Later observations by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms showed the container was likely for smokeless powder, the complaint said.

Lawless Arrested

Saturday at approximately 6:37 p.m., a single car crashed on Colorado 103 in Clear Creek County.

The driver in the crash was later identified as Lawless.

Lawless, who appeared to be intoxicated, attempted to stab two deputies with scissors while they were detaining him, the complaint said. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and felony menacing, prosecutors said.

Lawless had an injury to his hand, which was consistent with the injury to the person who broke into the Borders bookstore, the criminal complaint said.

Lawless Confesses

On Sunday morning, investigators interviewed Lawless after he was advised of his rights, prosecutors said.

Lawless admitted he broke into the Borders store, put the explosive devices inside and lit them, prosecutors said.

Lawless told investigators how and where he bought the components to construct the devices and told them he had another device in his truck, prosecutors said.

Lawless' Criminal History

In 2005, Lawless pleaded guilty to explosive possession charges after setting off a homemade bomb -- dry ice mixed with water in a soda bottle -- outside Shotgun Willie's strip club in Glendale, according to court records.

Lawless Today

Lawless remains in state custody in Clear Creek County. There is no timetable for when he will be transferred from state custody to federal custody, prosecutors said.

Read the criminal complaint against David Joseph Lawless.

Print this article Back to Top