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Arsonist on the run: Help detectives, ATF identify devastating Tacoma church fire suspect

 

TACOMA — Pierce County detectives need your help making an arrest in a devastating church arson case.

The fire tore through “Our Savior Lutheran Church” in Tacoma on Friday morning.

The church says someone set three fires in the sanctuary and lobby, causing serious damage.,.

“I’d walk by some people that were peering in and there were tears running down their eyes when they saw the damage, so they’re sad, but at the same time most of them have an amazing perspective when they realize this is not who we are.  It’s a building,” said the church’s pastor, Brian Banke.

Thankfully no one was hurt.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department says it’s working with the ATF on the case.

They do not have any suspect description and really need someone to call in with a tip that can help them figure out who set the fires, so they can stop them before they strike again.

“The suspect we might be looking for may be somebody who broke into the church at 4:30 in the morning, or somebody who possibly stayed the night after service, was in the building and never left and hid. That way he was in there, lit the fire and set the burglary alarm off when he left the building, so we could be looking for somebody that was already there the evening before the fire. That’s a possibility,” says Pierce County Det. Ed Troyer.

If you know anything about the fires, or anything at all that could be the clue that helps investigators identify the suspect, call an anonymous tip into:
CRIME STOPPERS: 1-800-222-TIPS

You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.

You can also download the new P3 Tips App on your smart phone to submit the information and any photos or videos you have to Crime Stoppers.