Agencies wrapping up probe into mosque, church fire

| April 28, 2011

STOCKTON – Investigators from the Stockton Fire Department and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concluded their on-site collection of evidence Wednesday afternoon at the scene of Saturday's early morning fire that destroyed part of a Pershing Avenue strip mall housing a mosque, a church and a real estate office.

The evidence has been transferred to the ATF's forensics lab in Walnut Creek and the Stockton Police Department's General Crimes Unit for analysis to help determine the source of the fire.

Until then, the incident remains under investigation, according to Deputy Fire Chief Paul Willette.

"At this point, now it's up to the lab folks to add their piece to this puzzle," Willette said, noting federal and local arson investigators spent 16 to 20 hours this week combing through the burned-out remains of the building at 4212 N. Pershing Ave. Workers required a crane to help stabilize what was left of the structure before investigators could safely enter the area, Willette said.

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Category: Church Security

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