The police chief, Dan Oates, said he and his officers felt targeted by the elaborate network of explosives in Holmes’s apartment.
“This apartment was designed, I say, based on everything I’ve seen, to kill whoever entered it,” Oates said at a news briefing. “It was gonna be a police officer, okay? Make no mistake about what was going on there. You think we’re angry, we sure as hell are angry.”
Aurora police said Saturday night that all explosives had been removed from the apartment and that FBI agents had gone inside to examine other evidence.
The protracted bomb-squad work at Holmes’s apartment took place on a day when Aurora residents learned the names of the 12 people killed and 58 wounded in the assault at the Century 16 movie theater, where a crowd of mostly young people showed up for the midnight screening early Friday of the new Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Among the dead were two members of the military, a man celebrating his 27th birthday and a 6-year-old girl, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, whose 25-year-old mother, Ashley Moser, is in critical condition and semiconscious with multiple gunshot wounds to her throat and abdomen.
President Obama will travel Sunday to Colorado to visit with shooting victims and their families in Aurora, the White House said Saturday night.
Holmes, 24, had no criminal record. He is being held without bond in the Arapahoe County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, reportedly in solitary confinement, and although he has not been formally charged, police said there are no other suspects. He is being represented by the public defender’s office.
Police learned from Holmes when they arrested him that his apartment was booby-trapped. It is unclear why Holmes, minutes after allegedly shooting strangers in a movie house, told police about the explosives.
Oates said that for four months, Holmes had been receiving a large number of commercial packages, which the chief said enabled him to assemble the material in the booby-trapped apartment and the small arsenal of weapons and ammunition allegedly used in the massacre.
“What we’re seeing here is evidence, I think, of some calculation and deliberation,” the police chief said.
Detectives had been unable to investigate Holmes’s 800-square-foot third-floor apartment because of the elaborate web of incendiary and chemical devices, numbering about 60 in all. The effort to defuse and disarm the explosives was made all the more delicate by the need to preserve any criminal evidence.