Nightly News   |  July 20, 2012

‘Hellish jumble’ inside shooting suspect’s apartment

Colorado shooting suspect James Eagan Holmes booby-trapped his apartment with wires and incendiary devices. Bomb experts are trying to figure out the best way to proceed so that they can search the apartment without triggering an explosion. NBC’s Pete Williams reports.

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>>> our justice correspondent pete williams in washington has more on this tricky investigation going on at the apartment of this 24-year-old suspect which, remember, they found booby trapped upon arrival. pete, good evening.

>> brian , the question is how soon can they get in there? all these hours since the shooting and they still haven't gotten inside. people i've talked to say it is a hlish jungle in there. there are bottles with liquids, fireworks, containers with ammunition, powders, all connected with trip wires. they don't know if it's the real thing or not. they have to assume it is partly because he has indicated he is willing to kill, partly because of recent purchases that he's made. and there are obvious reasons they want to get in there and disarm it. they want to preserve evidence. all of those things are evidence. they're also hoping, brian , somewhere in there is an answer to why this young man did this. they want to look at any writings that he has, any receipts that he may have had. they want to look at his computer, at his e-mail, all of those things are very important to the investigation. if they can't get in there and they really want to, they face the prospect potentially of blowing the building up, brian .

>> all right. pete williams in washington and just for perspective