A Denver police bomb squad vehicle is pictured outside an apartment building in Aurora Colorado, July 20, 2012 (Reuters / Jason Hatfield)
A Denver police bomb squad vehicle is pictured outside an apartment building in Aurora Colorado, July 20, 2012 (Reuters / Jason Hatfield)

Federal officials have confirmed a “sophisticated set-up” of explosives in the Aurora, Colorado apartment of James Holmes, the man suspected of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at a movie screening late Thursday night.

Five nearby buildings have been evacuated, and law enforcement officials are discussing ways of detonating or disarming the explosives, according to media reports on the ground.

Aurora police chief Daniel Oates said the apartment was booby-trapped with various incendiary devices and chemical devices connected to trip wires. He added that the explosives are so complex,“police could be on the scene for hours or days.”

The police used robots to examine the suspect’s residence without putting officers’ lives in danger. Now they plan to detonate the devices remotely rather than try to defuse them.

Kaitlyn Fonzi, who lives in the apartment below, said that she heard loud techno-like, deep-bass reverberating music coming from Holmes’ flat around the time of the massacre. She went to check on it, but decided not to confront the owner of the flat despite the fact that the door was open.

“I’m concerned if I had opened the door, I would have set it off,” she said.

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