Police: Second blaze at Bellevue mosque not a hate crime

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BELLEVUE, Wash.  — Police say investigators do not believe that a fire at a vacant mosque in Bellevue last week was a hate crime.

Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett told a community meeting Saturday that those involved will be brought to justice, but he said there's nothing to indicate that the blaze was started as a result of hate or bias toward the Muslim community.

Wednesday's blaze comes after a homeless man set the mosque on fire in January 2017.

The police chief said investigators found mattresses and other trash indicating that the vacant mosque was being used. He says individuals, who may have been teenagers, were seen running from the structure minutes before smoke was reported.

Mylett said police will thoroughly investigate and will make sure the appropriate charges are pursued.

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