COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ The FBI is pursuing tips from around the nation following a police officer's plea for help in identifying a man believed to have robbed 50 banks, many of them in Colorado.

The man is not on the FBI's ''10 Most Wanted'' list because no one knows who he is, so Detective Ed Bachmann of the Colorado Springs police force appeared on the ''Today'' show Tuesday to describe the string of crimes.

''Even your (John) Dillingers, as far as the number of robberies goes,'' did not pull off as many jobs, Bachmann said.

The man has stolen more than $180,000 in bank and savings and loan robberies across the country in the past three years, according to FBI special agent Don Gunnarson in Denver.

Gunnarson described the man as someone who ''certainly seems to know what he's doing. That's a lot of bank robberies.''

He said it will take a while for the FBI to pursue all the tips generated by Bachmann's television appearance.

''Normally, only known individuals will be placed on the '10 Most Wanted' list,'' he said.

Bachmann said he sought national coverage after local publicity did not generate any clues.

Authorities say the suspect's last six robberies have been in Colorado. During the past three years, more than 15 robberies along Colorado's Front Range have been attributed to him.

The most recent of the Colorado stickups was Feb. 20 in Colorado Springs.

The only identification given to the man was premature, Gunnarson said. The robber was dubbed ''the Gentleman Bandit'' because he once refused a customer's offer of money.

But ''he's not particularly gentlemanly,'' Gunnarson said. ''It would be hard for a bank employee to call him a gentleman when they are looking down the barrel of a .45-caliber weapon. But, on the other hand, he hasn't shot anyone.''

The suspect frequently hits small banks in or near shopping centers and has been photographed by surveillance cameras during many of the robberies.

He is described as white, about 30, 5-foot-8 and 150 pounds, with dark brown hair and a mustache. He wears sunglasses and a baseball cap.