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Feds arrive in Tyler to assist in investigation

POSTED: Monday, January 18, 2010 - 7:10pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 - 12:42pm

TYLER-A reward is now is place as authorities struggle to find out how two churches burned in Tyler in less than a day.

The First Church of Christian Scientists in Tyler is the sixth East Texas Church to burn this month. Tyler fire officials have activated the National Response Team and it's only the second time in history that a situation has brought this group of investigators to Tyler.

"That alone is cause for concern," Tyler Fire Marshal, Paul Findley, told us.

Now with two fires to investigate, officials have called in the National Response Team to find out whether or not these fires were intentionally set.

"We're holding off on doing a whole lot of digging until we get everybody here," Findley said. "But just the number of fires alone caused us to want to call in extra help. But as far as similarities, we really can't release that information at this time."

For now, ATF officials are offering at $5,000 reward to anyone with information that could help them solve any of the recent fires.

But until the case is solved, many people and local church officials are on high alert.

"Be vigilent and keep an eye on the properties," Findley said.
Monday evening Tyler fire officials, the ATF and those members of the NRT who flew in met to organize a game plan. As soon as that information is released we will give you an update.

If you have any information about these church fires you can call either the ATF at (903) 590-1475 or your local fire department.

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