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Forum News Service, Published November 04 2013

ATF offers $5,000 reward for information about Valley City church fire

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced Monday a reward of up to $5,000 will be given for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the arson fire to the Faith Lutheran Church in Valley City, N.D., said Scott D. Sweetow, special agent in charge of the St. Paul Field Division.

A fire was reported at approximately 3:41 a.m. Oct. 21 at the Faith Lutheran Church, 251 4th St. NE, Valley City. The Valley City Fire Department responded to the scene and suppressed the fire. ATF, Valley City Fire Department and the North Dakota State Fire Marshal’s Office conducted a fire scene examination and determined that the fire was deliberately set.

Damage to the church is estimated at approximately $2.2 million. The Valley City Police Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation are also assisting with the investigation.

“This arson was a deliberate attack on a house of worship destroying a local piece of history and testing one’s understanding of how someone could commit such a cowardly crime,” said Sweetow.

Investigators are seeking the public’s help in solving this crime and are hopeful that the reward will provide additional leads in the investigation.

Anyone with information about the arson should call the following numbers:

• ATF-Bismarck Satellite Office: 701-328-9893

• Valley City Police Department: 701-845-3110

• North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation: 701-845-5556

All numbers are operational 24-hours per day, seven days a week, and callers can remain anonymous. More information about ATF and its programs is available at www.atf.gov.