St. Louis police step up patrols after spate of church fires

In this Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 photo, Deacon Clinton McMiller, left, and Pastor David Triggs carry a cabinet back into the church after an outdoor service due to a fire at the New Life Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis. Someone has been setting fire to predominantly black churches in the St. Louis area, and investigators are trying to determine if the arsonist is targeting either religion or race. (J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis’ police chief says officers are stepping up patrols and developing profiles of possible suspects in a spate of fires that have damaged six churches in largely black neighborhoods in the past two weeks.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Sam Dotson’s announcement Tuesday came the same day the reward for information leading to an arrest doubled to $4,000.

Dotson says churches damaged during the suspicious fires Oct. 8 through Oct. 18 vary denominationally and are within five miles of each other. Four are on St. Louis’ north side, and two are in nearby Jennings.

St. Louis and federal authorities are investigating.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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