A 16-year-old boy asked for help obtaining a TEC-DC9 9mm pistol, saying it would be "awesome" to use the same weapon as the Columbine killers in carrying out mass murders in two states on Sept. 11, a prosecutor said.

The boy, whose name was not released because of his age, was scheduled to appear Friday for a hearing in juvenile court. He was being held at a juvenile detention center.

Authorities detained the teen Tuesday on an initial charge of intimidation, St. Joseph prosecutor County Michael Dvorak said. His office was preparing charges of conspiracy to commit murder after authorities found more than 100 knives at the boy's home, Dvorak said.

He said a school officer investigating an unrelated threat at the teen's school, Penn High, discovered Internet postings in which the teen discussed his support for the Columbine shooters, a reference to the 1999 massacre at a suburban Denver high school in which two students killed 12 classmates and a teacher before committing suicide.

School officials questioned the teen about his postings and learned he had exchanged e-mails Sunday with an unidentified person in which they discussed conducting "Columbine-like mass murders" at the same time on Sept. 11 at Penn and another location, Dvorak said Thursday.

Teresa Carroll, spokeswoman for the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp., said the other location was in Ohio.

The pair also wrote about researching how to obtain weapons and make explosive devices. The teenager, a freshman, asked the other person to help him obtain the TEC-DC9 9mm pistol, Dvorak said.

Dvorak declined to give any information about the person the teen corresponded with or what the person's intended target may have been.

Authorities also found several illegal snakes at the teen's home in Mishawaka, about 10 miles east of South Bend, Dvorak said.

Police searched the student's locker, backpack, home and laptop computer and found notebooks in which he wrote about killing a large number of people. They found he had searched the Internet on Monday for how to make propane tank bombs and for a reference guide on how to make explosives and other dangerous devices, Dvorak said.