For Immediate Release
ATF National Response Team Joins Oklahoma City Church Fire Investigation
WASHINGTON – The Dallas Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requested ATF’s National Response Team join the investigation into a church fire that occurred Monday morning at 7200 S. Walker Ave. in Oklahoma City.
NRT members arrived Tuesday in Oklahoma City to assist the Oklahoma City Fire Department in this ongoing investigation. The NRT consists of Special Agents, Certified Fire Investigators, Fire Protection Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Forensic Chemists, Certified Explosives Specialists, an Intelligence Research Specialist, a Medic and an Accelerant Detection Canine with handler.
“ATF’s National Response Team is in town and will be here until we can determine what caused this horrific fire which has displaced so many parishioners,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II. “If it is determined to be caused by human hand, we won’t sleep until that individual is caught and brought to justice. No Americans should have to worry about where they can practice their religious beliefs because of a criminal act. Rest assured, the best of the best is in Oklahoma City, and we will figure this out.”
This is the 11th NRT activation this fiscal year and the 902nd since the program began in 1978. The NRT is comprised of three regional components, organized geographically to cover the United States. The team provides an immediate and sustained nationwide response capability, typically deploying within 24 hours of notification, with state-of-the-art equipment and highly qualified ATF personnel specializing in fire origin and cause determination, to assist local and state law enforcement or fire service personnel.
Past NRT activations include such incidents as: the Nashville “Christmas Day” bombing; more than 200 fire scenes resulting from civil unrest throughout the Midwest in 2020; a series of bombings in Austin, Texas, in 2018; and national-level tragedies such as the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon; the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta; the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating fires and crimes of arson. More information on ATF can be found at www.atf.gov.