Profile of Mailbox Bomb Suspect

The man arrested by the FBI Tuesday in connection with the string of pipe bombs left in mailboxes is a college junior who studied industrial design and played in a punk rock band called Apathy.

"The top things I care about are my girlfriend ... and my music/band," Luke John Helder, 21, wrote in an autobiographical capsule on his band's Web site. "I party, play guitar, and talk online to everyone. That's my life."

Helder's family lives in farm country near Pine Island, a town of about 3,000 an hour from the Twin Cities.

Helder was arrested on a highway near Reno, Nev., after a 40-mile chase that reached 100 mph.

Officials at Pine Island High School declined to talk about Helder, as did several neighbors. But former classmates said Helder loved the grunge band Nirvana and was preoccupied with Kurt Cobain, its lead singer, who committed suicide.

"In high school, he was good in science class — chemistry and biology," Jacob King said.

Justin Fogal, who drove past the home, said he graduated from high school in the same class. "He seemed like a quiet kid," Fogal said. "He didn't cause too much trouble."

Helder was registered at University of Wisconsin-Stout, located in Menomonie about 60 miles east of the Twin Cities. He was listed as a junior majoring in art with an industrial design concentration.

The FBI called the school Tuesday morning about him, and investigators questioned his roommates, said John K. Enger, the school's executive director of university relations.

Helder played guitar and sang in his punk rock band, based in nearby Rochester. More than 400 messages flooded the band's Web site Tuesday, many of them scorning Helder.

Two songs were posted on the band's Web site, "Conformity" and "Back and Black," but the lyrics were unintelligible.