POSTED: Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 9:01am
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 4:20am
Investigators have determined that two rural church fires on the same night this week near Lindale were the acts of an arsonist. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced the findings last night on the fires that damaged the Dover Baptist Church and Clear Spring Missionary Baptist Church. The two Monday night fires happened within an hour and three miles of each other.
ATF Dallas spokesman Thomas Crowley says the fires bring to nine the number of deliberately set church fires in the Tyler-Athens area of eastern Texas since the first of the year. The ATF has said another 2010 church fire, in Temple in central Texas, also was set deliberately. No injuries have been reported, but agents suspect the work of a serial arsonist or group of arsonists in the eastern Texas fires.