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Waseca police say teen's arrest prevented tragedy

Friday - 5/2/2014, 10:40am  ET

WASECA, Minn. (AP) -- Police in the southern Minnesota city of Waseca say they prevented an "unimaginable tragedy" by foiling a teenager's plot to bomb its junior and senior high school.

Police arrested a 17-year-old suspect Tuesday and charged him yesterday with attempted murder and possessing explosive devices.

The Free Press of Mankato (man-KAY'-toh) reports that Waseca police believe the youth was acting alone. Police Captain Kris Markeson says he believes the teen would have succeeded if he had not been caught.

A visibly shaken Markeson said he was disturbed by the amount of guns and other material the youth obtained. He said he can't divulge if specific students were targeted.

The charges say the boy told police he intended to kill "as many students as he could."

The investigation began after three small explosive devices were discovered at a playground in late March.

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Information from: The Free Press, http://www.mankatofreepress.com

%@AP Links

026-w-29-(Tim Maguire, AP correspondent, with Waseca, Minn. Police Captain Kris Markeson)--A Minnesota high school student is charged with planning an attack at his school. AP correspondent Tim Maguire reports. (2 May 2014)

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059-a-15-(Tom Lee, superintendent, Waseca Public Schools, at news conference Thursday)-"all of us"-Waseca Public Schools Superintendent Tom Lee says he's grateful that investigators were able to foil an alleged plot for a school attack. (2 May 2014)

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060-a-12-(Tom Lee, superintendent, Waseca Public Schools, at news conference Thursday)-"commended by all"-Waseca Public Schools Superintendent Tom Lee says police were tipped off by a member of the community. (2 May 2014)

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061-a-17-(Tom Lee, superintendent, Waseca Public Schools, at news conference Thursday)-"inside our culture"-Waseca Public Schools Superintendent Tom Lee says the nation needs to examine the ongoing violence in schools. (2 May 2014)

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062-a-15-(Tom Lee, superintendent, Waseca Public Schools, at news conference Thursday)-"significantly degrading culture"-Waseca Public Schools Superintendent Tom Lee says these school shooting and bombing plots are unique to schools in the United States, and there may be many contributing factors. (2 May 2014)

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063-a-04-(Captain Kris Markeson, Waseca Police Department, at news conference, at news conference Thursday)-"amount of harm"-Police Captain Kris Markeson says that among the explosives the student was planning to use was a pressure-cooker bomb. (2 May 2014)

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064-a-06-(Captain Kris Markeson, Waseca Police Department, at news conference, at news conference Thursday)-"very, very complete"-Police Captain Kris Markeson says the suspect was very thorough in his planning. (2 May 2014)

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065-a-09-(Captain Kris Markeson, Waseca Police Department, at news conference, at news conference Thursday)-"to do that"-Police Captain Kris Markeson says the suspect expressed even more violent thoughts, regarding the search warrants that were served. (2 May 2014)

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APPHOTO MNMIT114: Bombs were allegedly found in March at Hartley Elementery School playground in Waseca. Authorities said Thursday, May 1, 2014, that they prevented an "unimaginable tragedy" by foiling a teenager's elaborate plot to kill his family and bomb the junior and senior high school in the southern Minnesota city of Waseca. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune,Glen Stubbe) (1 May 2014)

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APPHOTO MNMIT110: Students, parents and community members stand in the back of the room to listen as Waseca Police Captain Kris Markeson and Waseca school Superintendent Tom Lee speak at a news conference about the 17-year-old arrested in plot to kill family and massacre students at Waseca school. Authorities said Thursday, May 1, 2014, that they prevented an "unimaginable tragedy" by foiling a teenager's elaborate plot to kill his family and bomb the junior and senior high school in the southern Minnesota city of Waseca. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune,Glen Stubbe) (1 May 2014)

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APPHOTO MNMIT111: Waseca Police Captain Kris Markeson, left, and Waseca school Superintendent Tom Lee spoke at a news conference about the 17-year-old arrested in plot to kill family and massacre students at Waseca school. Authorities said Thursday, May 1, 2014, that they prevented an "unimaginable tragedy" by foiling a teenager's elaborate plot to kill his family and bomb the junior and senior high school in the southern Minnesota city of Waseca. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune,Glen Stubbe) (1 May 2014)

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APPHOTO MNMAN102: Media and community members listen as Waseca Police Capt. Kris Markeson, flanked by Waseca School Superintendent Thomas Lee, answers questions Thursday, May 1, 2014. Police arrested a 17-year-old suspect Tuesday and charged him in juvenile court Thursday, with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of possessing explosive or incendiary devices and two counts of criminal damage to property. (AP Photo/The Mankato Free Press, John Cross) (1 May 2014)

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