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FBI Warned Multiple Times About RTD Shooting Suspect

By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) - CBS4 has learned that local law enforcement authorities in Colorado warned federal authorities more than once that Joshua Cummings, who was on a federal watch list, was in Colorado and staying at a South Broadway motel.

However, it's unclear precisely what federal authorities did with that critical information.

Joshua Cummings
Joshua Cummings (credit: Twitter)

Denver police arrested Cummings, 37, Tuesday night shortly after they say he shot and killed Regional Transportation District security guard Scott Von Lanken, 56, in a point-blank shooting in downtown Denver.

A well-placed law enforcement source, familiar with the situation, told CBS4 that approximately a month ago Cummings filed a police report with a suburban Denver police department. That action led investigators to research Cummings' background and they found his name was on the federal watch list.

Scott Von Lanken (credit:

The source says local police officers then contacted an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force in Colorado, alerting them to Cummings presence. The local police agency was told that federal authorities had Cummings under surveillance.

FBI evidence gathering at hotel
(credit: CBS)

The law enforcement contact said when Cummings remained at the motel well after the initial warning, the agency contacted the Colorado JTTF a second time alerting them to his presence.

Federal authorities have not made any comment about the case.

CBS4 earlier reported that when Cummings was arrested Tuesday night, he was found with Muslim-related documents and spoke what appeared to be Arabic following his capture.

Cummings is originally from Texas and has served in the military. However, his Twitter feed contains numerous rants about his unhappiness with America and his dislike of law enforcement.

Joshua Cummings
The search at Joshua Cummings' motel room (credit: CBS)

FBI agents were at an Englewood motel most of the day Wednesday removing items from a room where Cummings had been staying.

Englewood police referred a call from CBS4 to the FBI and Denver police.

RELATED: Wife Of Murdered RTD Security Officer: 'We Always Kissed Goodbye' | Memorial Funds For Scott Von Lanken

CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass has been with the station more than 30 years uncovering waste, fraud and corruption. Follow him on Twitter @Briancbs4.

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