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Suspect in Colorado prison chief killing had bomb materials

Evan Spencer Ebel is shown in this undated Colorado Department of Corrections booking photo. REUTERS/Colorado Department of Corrections/Hand
Evan Spencer Ebel is shown in this undated Colorado Department of Corrections booking photo. REUTERS/Colorado Department of Corrections/Hand

By Alex Dobuzinskis and Jim Forsyth

(Reuters) - The suspect in the killing of the Colorado prisons chief had bomb-making materials and instructions for building bombs in the trunk of his car, Texas authorities said in court papers released on Tuesday.

Evan Spencer Ebel, a 28-year-old parolee from a Denver suburb, was killed in Decatur in a gun battle with Texas police last Thursday after a high-speed chase.

Ebel has already been linked to the killings last week of the Colorado prisons chief, Tom Clements, and a Denver pizza delivery man, but investigators had not indicated that he may have been plotting a bombing.

On Tuesday, a court in Wise County, Texas, released a list of evidence recovered in a search of Ebel's Cadillac car which included miscellaneous bomb making materials in a black duffle bag and a backpack, which were found in the trunk.

They also discovered a document with "apparent bomb making instructions" in the backpack, according to the court documents, which were related to a search warrant filed last week.

Other items found in the car included black powder, documents from the Colorado Department of Corrections, a projectile, four cartridge cases and zip ties, which can be used to restrain a person, the documents said.

The documents released on Tuesday do not indicate what police believe Ebel may have been planning to do with the bomb-making materials.

PRISON GANG TIES

Ebel, who according to law enforcement sources was a member of a white supremacist prison gang known as the 211 Crew, had served time in prison in Colorado and was paroled in the Denver area in January. He was arrested at least seven times between 2003 and 2010 for crimes including burglary, weapons possession, assault, menacing and robbery, court records indicate.

A representative from the Texas Ranger Division, which obtained the search warrant for Ebel's car, could not be reached for comment. Authorities involved in the investigation in Colorado also declined to comment.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is the lead agency investigating Clements' death, which occurred in that Colorado county. The office on Monday said ballistics tests established the gun Ebel used in a shootout with police in Texas was the same weapon used to kill the prisons chief.

On Friday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper confirmed reports he had been a longtime friend of the Ebel family, after having met the dead suspect's father, Jack Ebel, 30 years ago. The governor said Evan Ebel "had a bad streak."

Authorities have been looking for ties between the death of Clements and the January killing of Mark Hasse, a prosecutor in the Kaufman County District Attorney's Office. Kaufman County is east of Dallas.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Jim Forsyth in San Antonio, editing by Scott Malone, Kevin Gray and David Brunnstrom)

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