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Pa. Man Blows Up House on Day He's Due in Court

A one-armed man who was obsessed with explosives and sold homemade fireworks deliberately set off a bomb at a Cambria County home, blowing it to pieces and injuring a man and his son inside, investigators said Wednesday morning.

"We consider it an intentional action but we're still investigating a possible motive," Trooper John Matchik said. "I can tell you we believe at this time that the suspect targeted this family for this attack."

Suicide bomber Bradley Kollar, 40, set off "some type of explosive device" at the home of William and Linda Shaner and their three sons at 882 Knepshire Road in Clearfield Township at 8:52 a.m. Tuesday, police said.

Investigators said they could not confirm that the suicide mission was taken against the family as retaliation for turning over evidence against Kollar to state police in a criminal investigation.

Kollar, who was free after posting $20,000 bail, killed himself on the day he was to report to the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg to be sentenced for setting up what police described as a "functional" meth lab and operating a chop shop.

"That's a load of nonsense," said his father, John Andrew Kollar, 64, who is accused of running a chop shop with his son. Bradley Kollar was "a pretty good boy."

Police were able to conduct preliminary interviews with William Shaner, who was transferred from Altoona Hospital to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he is listed in critical condition.

Shaner, who was pulled from the rubble, does not have life-threatening injuries, according to Matchik. His teenage son is a patient at Altoona Hospital.

Kollar, who lost his left arm in an explosives accident years ago, made fireworks and sold them, according to District Attorney Kelly Callihan.

Kollar had telephoned William Shaner just before the blast, but police are still working to learn the details of that conversation, Matchik said.

State and federal investigators are collecting evidence from the blast scene to be sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives laboratory in an attempt to determine what types of explosive device was used.

District Attorney Kelly Callihan said Shaner's names is not listed in any court documents related to the charges against Kollar. She declined comment on whether Shaner was a confidential informant. Shaner is serving a probation sentence out of Blair County on a theft charge, court records show.

Callihan said that last June her office filed a petition to revoke Kollar's bond, based on his mental status and his discussions with a fellow inmate at the Cambria County Jail that he was going to kill himself by blowing himself up with explosives.

The petition was denied, despite a tape recording of that conversation obtained at the lockup, Callihan said.

State police Lt. Robert Clark said Kollar lost his left arm in an accident with explosives years ago. He could not provide a specific date.

Callihan said Kollar was expected to receive a jail sentence. She said she kept her distance from the case because Kollar was being represented by her brother, attorney Arthur McQuillan.

Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski notified Kollar's family of his death by telling his sister.

The underground lab was found when investigators raided his family's property at 721 Murphy Springs Road and 210 Baker St. in Hastings, on March 6, 2012, court records show.

When Kollar failed to appear to be sentenced Tuesday morning, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police allege Kollar and his father ran a chop shop on their property, where officers found a stolen front-end loader, two skid loaders, an all-terrain vehicle and a U-Haul trailer holding boxes of commercial-grade fireworks.

The son pleaded guilty to one count in the meth lab case and one count in the chop shop case, court records show.

Charges are pending against his father, who is free on $10,000 bail.

Copyright 2013 - Tribune-Review, Greensburg, Pa.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service