DENVER — Statements that Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes made to police shortly after his arrest should be admissible at his trial even though he didn’t have an attorney present, prosecutors argued Wednesday.

Police needed to ask Holmes about explosives in his apartment to protect the public, prosecutors said in a court filing. They said the questions were permissible under a public safety exception to a suspect’s right to have an attorney.

Holmes also asked detectives a question, according to court documents. What Holmes said was blacked out.

Prosecutors said other answers Holmes gave police also should be admissible because officers were trying to see if he needed medical attention or was uncomfortable, not interrogating him.

Defense attorneys have said the statements should be barred as evidence because Holmes didn’t waive his right to have an attorney present.

Neither side has revealed what Holmes said.

Holmes is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora in July. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to more than 160 counts of murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.