Newly unsealed court documents reveal that law enforcement found bomb-making materials in the Highland Park parade shooter’s home and that he considered making a device to bring to the parade.
A search warrant application and affidavit were unsealed this week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The warrant was initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as part of their investigation into Robert Crimo III, 22, of Highwood.
The affidavit said law enforcement recovered multiple firearms and bomb-making material from the Highwood apartment where Crimo was living, just hours after the July 4 shooting.
The bomb-making material included electronic components, including a remote initiator, two plastic jugs with ammunition attached to the outside, a funnel and two boxes of Tannerite.
Crimo bought the 10 pounds of Tannerite, a binary explosive, on June 1 — one month before the attack.
The affidavit said additional bomb-making components, including electrical components, an electronic timer and electric matches, were found in an upstairs bedroom of a single-family home that Crimo had access to.
Days later, Crimo’s father consented to an additional search by the FBI that resulted in agents finding batteries, electrical wiring, a capacitor, circuit boxes, a “servo” and remote switches.
The recovered material can be assembled into an improvised explosive device (IED) for use as a weapon of mass destruction, according to an FBI agent.
Crimo gave law enforcement a voluntary statement following his arrest on July 4 and confessed to the parade shooting.
He described making explosive devices in the preceding years and learning how to construct the devices, the affidavit said.
Investigators asked Crimo what he was going to use an explosive for, and he responded, “You know, whatever happens, happens… if I were to use it, it would be by chance because, you know, they are heavy, you can only carry so many things.”
The FBI took that to mean that the explosive devices were too heavy to carry to the parade along with his rifle, but he considered using them if the “opportunity arose.”
Crimo also said that he made electrical circuits in the past. “Of course I had the idea in my mind that it could be used for nefarious reasons.”
Later in the interviews, Crimo was asked about his intent for the IED components.
He responded, “It could have been used for an incident, it could have been used but it wasn’t. It could have been planted if it worked, in theory it could have been planted… somewhere where it could cause harm.”
“If it worked, I might have planted it early, or I might have just sat down, left the bag there, and walked away,” Crimo said.
The FBI noted that Crimo provided investigators with conflicting information related to his plans for the explosives.
Investigators believe Crimo performed reconnaissance in advance of the July 4 shooting.
Crimo told police that he considered using a GoPro camera to record the attack, the affidavit said.
In late July, prosecutors presented their case to a Lake County grand jury and the jury returned a 117-count indictment.
Crimo was charged with 21 counts of first-degree murder, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery with a firearm.
He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart previously said that the first-degree murder charges will lead to a mandatory life sentence should Crimo be convicted.
Lake County Major Crime Task Force Spokesman Christopher Covelli said that Crimo pre-planned the attack.
Covelli said that Crimo, who dressed as a woman, used a fire escape ladder to access the roof of a building on the parade route.
Crimo admitted to “looking down his sights” of his Smith & Wesson M&P 15 semi-automatic rifle before opening fire on the crowd on July 4 near Second Street and Central Avenue in Highland Park.
Crimo said he fired two full 30-round magazines before loading a third 30-round magazine and firing, prosecutors said.
83 spent shell casings were recovered at the scene.
Crimo exited the roof, dropped the rifle and escaped with the fleeing crowd, according to Covelli.
He identified himself on surveillance video and the weapon used, prosecutors said.
Crimo, who is being held in the Lake County Jail without bond, is scheduled to appear in court next on May 9 for a case management hearing.