Trail of Terror: Church Arson Investigators Tell Their Stories

| February 11, 2011

As the clock ticked past 3:30 a.m. Feb. 21, 2010, SWAT members clenched automatic weapons and readied themselves outside a double-wide mobile home in Grand Saline.

Miles away in his Tyler living room, a sleepy State District Judge Jack Skeen Jr. scribbled his signature on two arrest warrants.

Fifty-two days had passed since the start of a rash of East Texas church arsons — 10 in all — terrorized congregations and brought together investigators from local law enforcement agencies, Texas Rangers, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms.

With Skeen's signature, ATF agent Larry Smith and Texas Ranger Brent David had the green light to arrest Jason Robert Bourque and Daniel George McAllister, the two men whose church-burning spree last year ran from Jan. 1 to Feb. 8.

Smith and Davis gave the order, and SWAT members launched flash grenades through the windows of the mobile home at 24760 Farm-to-Market 857 in northwest Smith County, smashed the front door and rushed in to find a stunned and disoriented Bourque.

 

http://www.tylerpaper.com/article/20110211/NEWS1201/110219974

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Category: Church Security

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