Arson determined for LDS church fire in Arizona

| July 8, 2012

Last week's fire that destroyed a 50-year-old LDS meetinghouse in Tolleson, Ariz., has been determined to be the work of an arsonist, according to local police officials.

"Right now the only people that know where and how the fire was started are the (Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco) investigators and the people who started the fire," said Tolleson Police Chief Larry Rodriguez Friday afternoon. "There was unauthorized entry and vandalism."

Rodriguez said police are offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case, which has not been classified as a hate crime.

Three wards, or congregations, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — consisting of about 1,400 church members — have been displaced by the fire. Local church spokeswoman Cindy Packard indicated that members are meeting in other chapels in the west Phoenix area until plans for rebuilding the Tolleson meetinghouse are finalized.

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Category: Church Security

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