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ATF offering $5,000 reward for information in Mukilteo Mormon church arson

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By Rikki King
Herald Writer
MUKILTEO -- Federal investigators are putting up money to help catch whoever torched a church in Mukilteo last fall.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, special agent Cheryl Bishop said Thursday.
Police believe an arsonist used a Molotov cocktail to start the Oct. 16 fire that destroyed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building at the corner of Harbour Pointe Boulevard and Chennault Beach Drive. The fire caused nearly $4 million in damage.
Police believe the suspected arsonist was deliberately targeting the church and its community.
The investigation has continued since, with Mukilteo police Detective Lance Smith at the helm. After the fire, he sent remnants of the Molotov cocktail to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab for possible fingerprint and DNA testing. He also shared surveillance video from nearby Kamiak High School. The video shows a flash before smoke starts to billow from the church.
The FBI and ATF joined the investigation, Bishop said. They're working closely alongside Mukilteo police.
Church leaders last month broke ground at the site for their new building. They're hoping to finish construction by Christmas.
Investigators urge anyone with information about the fire to call 800-55-ARSON or 800-ATF-GUNS. They also can call ATF directly at 206-389-6840 or Mukilteo police at 425-263-8100.
Callers don't have to give their names. There may be additional reward money from other sources.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449;
Story tags » ReligionMukilteoArsonCrimePoliceFire

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