Aranda is now jailed on suspicion of attempted premeditated first-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years to life in prison.
Emmanuel Aranda, 24, allegedly told police, he was looking for someone to kill, and was angry women rejected him there.
Prosecutors will ask that bail be set at $2 million.
KSTP's Brett Hoffland said the court appearance lasted about five minutes.
The victim's mother told police that she was with her son, a friend, and her friend's child on the third floor of the mall outside of the Rainforest Café shortly after 10 a.m. when the unusual man approached them. When asked by the judge whether he had any questions, he said, "Not at all". Donations for the family have poured in and amounted to more than $685,000 as of Tuesday morning, blowing past the GoFundMe campaign goal of $500,000.
According to KMSP, police estimate the child fell 39 feet before hitting the ground below, suffering numerous broken bones and severe head trauma.
Stephen Tillitt, an attorney representing the victim's family, told reporters the child remains in critical condition.
The deranged suspect "acknowledged repeatedly in his interview that he had planned and meant to kill someone at the mall that day and that he was aware that what he was doing was wrong", the complaint said.
The boy was thrown from the third-floor balcony of the mall and chosen at random.
Aranda is charged with attempted homicide.
Aranda has two past convictions for assaults at the mall, both in 2015, including one in which he threw a glass of water and glass of tea at a woman who refused to buy him something.
He was located on a light rail train at the mall, waiting for it to depart, according to the complaint. Aranda felt driven to aggression after being rejected by women he'd tried to speak with there, according to a criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE. The Star-Tribune reported that Aranda was previously convicted of first-degree property damage and was also arrested on charges of assault and theft in IL.
Surveillance video at the mall shows Aranda walking in the mall on the third floor, looking over the balcony several times, before approaching the victim and his mother, CBS Minnesota reports.
Police say he also threw water in a woman's face at the Mall of America and has a warrant for his arrest from IL for assault.
Police have not identified the boy, but said he suffered life-threatening injuries from the fall at the Bloomington mall, a major tourist attraction in the state. He urged the Legislature and those who are calling for aggressive retribution to focus on mental health issues.