ATF blames serial arsonist for attacks on Texas churches

By Calvin Palmer

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives believes a serial arsonist is to blame for the recent spate of fires at churches in east Texas.

Clay Alexander, head of the Tyler office, said today that the fires are the work of one person or a group of people.

Alexander called the two fires last night at the Dover Baptist Church and the Clear Springs Missionary Baptist Church, in Tyler, suspicious, although they have not been officially confirmed as arson.

Seven east Texas churches and one in central Texas have been targeted since January 1.

Details of how the churches were entered and the materials used to start the fires have not been released.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is offering a $25,000 reward offered for information leading to the identity of the arsonist.

Alexander said: “The fact is that the general public is how we are going to catch this person. We need any and all information that someone may have or think they have in regard to these fires.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call 903-675-0061/0062.

[Based on a report in The Dallas Morning News and a report by the Tyler Morning Telegraph.]

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