MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) _ One of three inmates stabbed at the West Virginia Penitentiary died early Thursday, and guards found at least five homemade knives in the maximum- security unit where the attack took place, officials said.

Authorities had no motive for the attack late Wednesday, but prison officials had the names of five inmates who might have been responsible for it, said Deputy Warden B.C. Clutter.

The prison was reported to be calm Thursday, and the unit remained under a lockdown with prisoners confined to their cells, Clutter said.

Lt. John Ericson discounted suggestions the attack was linked to continuing rumors of impending violence during the Thanksgiving holiday at the prison, where a bloody uprising began last New Year's Day.

''That's something we hear all the time,'' said Ericson.

In the violence at the 120-year-old prison that began New Year's Day, rioters took 16 hostages and killed three inmates they believed to be informants. Since that uprising, rumors have swept through the facility of violence on other holidays.

The three inmates, one of whom allegedly led the January uprising and was a spokesman for the rioters, were attacked when they returned to their cells from a recreation period, Ericson said.

The three were housed in the North Hall unit, where the alleged leaders of the January riot were placed.

One of the inmates died Thursday morning of multiple stab wounds, one was in very critical condition after surgery for head wounds and the third underwent surgery for a hand wound, said Clutter.

The dead man was identified as Michael D. McMillion, 24, serving a 1- to 10-year term from Kanawha County on a conviction of receiving stolen goods.

Danny Lehman, 33, was listed in critical condition at Ohio Valley Medical Center in New Martinsville with multiple stab wounds, said Clutter. Lehman underwent surgery for a head wound and was in intensive care, he said.

Lehman, accused of conspiracy in connection with the two-day January uprising, was serving two life terms and 1-10 years from Raleigh County for first-degree murder, armed robbery, malicious wounding and breaking without entering, Clutter said.

Danny Worley, 29, suffered wounds to a hand and was returned to Reynolds Memorial Hospital in stable condition after having surgery at Ohio Valley, Clutter said. Worley was sentenced to life for a Raleigh County first-degree murder conviction.