VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Clark County investigators, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), have released new surveillance footage of a suspect they believe is responsible for a string of Vancouver church arsons last summer.
In a stretch of five days in June of 2016, First Congregational United Church of Christ, Liberty Bible Church of the Nazarene and Daybreak Youth Services were all set on fire.
Investigators have since chased several leads but still haven’t found the person responsible, so they’re hoping the public can help identify the suspect in the video.
“We are as passionate about catching this person now as we were the first day that the fires occurred,” said Clark County Assistant Fire Marshall Curtis Eavenson.
The video shows an adult man walking up to one of the churches at a brisk pace. The fires are believed to have been set off camera, as a flash can be seen before the man takes off running.
“The public, specifically, (should) take a hard look at this video,” said ATF Special Agent Darek Pleasants. “See if they recognize this individual from their acquaintances, their neighbors, or people that they’ve had contact with.”
Investigators also recovered a distinctive hat at the scene showing the character Deadpool. They’re hoping someone might see the hat and recognize whoever owned it.
They are not, however, giving away everything they know. In the video the suspect is carrying something, and Assist Fire Marshall Eavernson said he knows what it is, but he wouldn’t reveal it.
“When you do find somebody in an investigation that may have knowledge that only the perpetrator would know, if we start giving out too much we lose that piece of our case,” he said.
If you recognize the suspect, you’re encouraged to reach out to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 1-877-CRIME11 or ATF Fires Tip Line at 1-888-ATF-FIRE. A reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.