"Face the Nation" transcripts, July 22, 2012: Aurora mayor and police chief, mayor Bloomberg, PM Netanyahu

JOHN MILLER (CBS News Senior Correspondent): Thanks. Chief, one of the things we've been looking at is that apartment yesterday. That was an extraordinarily unusual crime scene with extraordinary hazards. Talking to the technical people yesterday, they said this was a very complex chemical reaction device where a trip wire would be set off by opening the door, one chemical would pour into another, they would react and cause this conflagration. What does that tell you about the level of sophistication of this suspect and his intent?

DANIEL OATES: I think it's a-- I thinks it speaks volumes about his-- his-- his intelligence and his deliberation, and his cold-bloodedness. I-- I could not believe the pictures I saw from the robot about-- about the way this thing was designed. And there was a second triggering mechanism, too. So, if-- if somehow that was defeated, there was another electronic mechanism of some sort that also would have set the whole thing off.

JOHN MILLER: So, one critical question--

DANIEL OATES: I had never seen-- I had never seen anything like it.

JOHN MILLER: One critical question there, Chief, we are told he advised police, if you go to the apartment you are going to find explosives. Did he tell you and your officers that it was a trap or was it something you were meant to walk into after talking to him?

DANIEL OATES: Well, I'm not going to discuss his admissions, but I will tell you that we were aware of the possibility when we arrived. I--I-- I'm simply not in a place to say in any form what he told us.

JOHN MILLER: Now you haven't had time to be briefed on a lot of detail aspects of the investigations but you did have a chance to talk to the officer who actually arrested him. I imagine that officer in confronting him seeing a guy in heavy body armor with a ballistic helmet and an AR-15, probably first assumed he was a S.W.A.T. officer. How did that arrest go down? What did he say?

DANIEL OATES: Without going into too many details it was one aspect of what he was wearing that did not fit what a S.W.A.T. officer might be wearing. There was one particular piece of equipment that he had on him that was out of place. And I am so proud of my officers that they spotted that right away and challenged him. I can't tell you. In that chaos, it is quite reasonable that an officer might have confused him for another-- for a S.W.A.T. officer, a heavily armed officer who was responding to the scene.

So kudos to my two cops who grabbed this guy and that they-- and that sharp observation that they made immediately that led them to suspect him as being the suspect.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Chief, it's Bob Schieffer again. You don't-- can you tell us what that piece of the equipment was or would you--

DANIEL OATES: No, I prefer to-- I'd rather not. I prefer to leave that for the evidence at trial.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you this: you say you can't really talk in detail about what was in the-- in the apartment. But did you run across anything in there--notebooks, computer, things of that nature that would give us some insight into the working of the mind of this person?

DANIEL OATES: I'm told there was a computer inside the apartment and with the assistance of the FBI, that computer will be completely analyzed. That may take some time. So we're hopeful that that will yield some information.


JOHN MILLER: Chief, if I can ask that question a different way. What we see is a lot of activity and may going into June. He drops out of a PhD program. He starts ordering massive amounts of weapons, tactical gear, ammunition. Other things are changing, he's planning. Has there been any sign of what was occurring in his life at that time that seemed to be the stressor that pushed him toward this plot?

DANIEL OATES: I've heard one morsel of information about a relationship that may or may not be true. And-- and that's why we have the-- all our investigators working on this. That's why we brought in the FBI behavioral analysts. They're going to figure all that stuff out, and there will be no easy or quick answers. And maybe there will never be any answers. This-- this requires a lot of work and we're just not in a position to give any indications of that now. And, again, whatever we do develop, the proper place to make sure we get proper justice for the victims is to reveal that stuff in the course of the criminal prosecution.


JOHN MILLER (overlapping): Chief, the President is coming later today. He's going to meet with you. He's going to meet with the victims. Of course, it's also a political season. Do you feel there is a utility to that, and do you think it's going to help?

DANIEL OATES: I can't tell you how important this visit is. I spent ninety minutes with the families on Friday afternoon, and this was during the period where the ten deceased-- the bodies were still in the theater and they were so desperate for confirmation, and I couldn't give it to them. And they were hurting so much. And we were so pleased to be able to tell them through our victim advocates contacting the families yesterday, that the President was coming here, and they-- these families need that kind of contact by our elected leader, and it will be very powerful, and it will help them. As-- as awful as what they've been through and what they are going through has been, having the President here is very, very powerful. It means a great deal to them and I think all of Aurora.

JOHN MILLER: Dan, let me for a moment drop the veneer of objectivity. We're friends. I've known you a long time. Your daughter went to the Batman premiere that night. Thank God at another theater. But you've got a family to support during a crisis in your town. You've got police officers who have seen things that most people don't see unless they are in Iraq and Afghanistan and will need to recover from that while they are working and you have a community that looks to you for protection and to tell them everything is going to be all right and where this goes next. I have to ask, how are you doing?