Authorities ask for help in locating middle school pipe bomb suspects

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AURORA, Colo. -- The Aurora Fire Department asked for the public’s help Thursday identifying suspects who ignited a pipe bomb outside a middle school that forced its evacuation and early closure Monday.

Investigators released surveillance pictures of the three individuals.

The three young men left the pipe bomb in the back of Mrachek Middle School by some trash cans Saturday night.

But it wasn’t until Monday morning that a school resource officer found it.

Now, we’re getting our first look at the three people who officials say tried to blow it up, then just left it there.

The pipe bomb didn’t blow up.

But it still ignited concern, confusion and a criminal investigation.

“Any explosive device, attempted explosive device, we take very seriously. Not only for the safety of the public, but the safety of the individuals who are trying to make explosives. It’s very dangerous,” says Cpt. Diane Lord with Aurora Fire.

Those individuals appear to be teenagers, got caught on camera igniting the pipe bomb, which didn’t detonate.

You see the three walk around the Mrachek campus. Two are wearing dark hoodies, and one a short-sleeved plaid shirt.

Three other pictures show only the suspect in the dark hoodie with the word “California” on it.

“The investigators are optimistic that with help from the public, they will be able to identify the three suspects,” says Lord.

“I never seen ‘em,” say two Mrachek students outside the school today.

A parent doesn’t recognize the suspects either.

“I am not familiar with the kids. I have not seen them before,” says Vince Richmond.

But both are hopeful the trio who triggered an evacuation--and potentially endangered them--will learn a lesson outside the school’s classrooms about wrongdoing and justice.

“The pictures are pretty crystal clear. So I’m sure somebody will be able to identify them. You can’t play games like that when it comes to kids’ safety,” says Richmond.

If you recognize any of the three suspects, you could earn up to $2,000 from Crime Stoppers and another $500 from Aurora Fire.

Anyone with information was asked to call police at 303-326-8912.