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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Reward Notice

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 2, 2020
Contact: Corey Ray

ATF Offers Reward for Information on Columbia Church Fire

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) today announced a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information related to a fire at the Whaley Street United Methodist Church located at 517 Whaley St. in Columbia, South Carolina. 

The fire is believed to have started shortly before midnight on March 19, 2020. Damage was contained to one room within the church and no injuries were reported after the fire. It has been determined that an incendiary agent was used to start the fire. ATF is assisting the Columbia Police Department and the Columbia Fire Department in this ongoing investigation.

ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating fires and crimes of arson. Anyone with information about the fire is encouraged to call ATF's toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477).

For more information about ATF, go to




Charlotte Field Division