Officials said Breivik, who admitted killing 77 people last summer in two acts of violence, e-mailed several real estate agents and municipalities in July 2010, seeking a farmhouse in Varmland province in western Sweden, Sveriges Television reported Wednesday.
Varmland's proximity to Oslo -- roughly 140 miles -- prompted Norwegian police to suspect the house could be used as a secret base for terrorist operations.
The Local reported Breivik specifically sought an "abandoned farmhouse" that was "isolated or desolate," explaining in his e-mails that he planned to spend time writing a book.
Breivik eventually selected a farmhouse in Asta, Norway, near the Swedish border.
Police suspect the farmhouse was where Breivik made the explosives that killed eight people in a car bomb attack in Norway's capital July 22. Breivik then opened fire killing 69 others, mostly young people at a political summer camp on the island of Utoya before he was captured.
Breivik has admitted he carried out the massacre but has denied criminal guilt. He said he is a commander of a militant organization that has the goal of overthrowing European governments and replacing them with regimes that would deport Muslim immigrants.
His trial begins in Oslo April 16.