Crews were called to the scene after fire alarms went off in the mall just before 5:30 p.m.
Firefighters initially said that an improvised explosive device had been detonated in a corridor located next to the mall entrance of JC Penney.
Lake Wales Police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said the devices appeared to be a type of flare, placed inside a PVC pipe and then wrapped in electrical tape.
According to witnesses, police described him as middle-aged, "heavy/stocky build wearing a grey shirt and grey hat". No injuries were reported in the explosions, which occurred about half an hour before the mall was scheduled to close.
Schulze said they also found a book bag containing what they believed to be other devices inside. They detected the smoke emerging from a service corridor, and found two exploded pipe bombs and a backpack nearby.
The mall has been evacuated and the department has launched a criminal investigation.
"We're a family-oriented community, this is a family-oriented mall".
"We are going to work hard, hand in hand to develop a suspect, find the suspect and put the suspect where he needs to be, and that's in jail", Schulze said.
The mall was slated to reopen at 10 a.m. Monday.