For Immediate Release
Persons of Interest in Twin Cities Arson Cases, Imagery Sought
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The National Response Team of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the St. Paul Fire Department, St. Paul Police Department, and Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division, are seeking persons of interest who could advance the arson investigations into several St. Paul businesses that were set ablaze last week.
“The individuals we are seeking to identify may have important information that could significantly aid in solving some of these arson cases,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jon Ortiz, of the ATF St. Paul Field Division. “Members of our communities have been a critical part of this investigation through their information sharing, and we appreciate their continued support in helping us locate these individuals.”
In addition to identifying persons of interest, investigators are also looking to the public for photos or videos from the nights of unrest in St. Paul or Minneapolis. They are specifically looking for photos or videos of people starting fires or adding additional material or accelerants to any of the business property fires in St. Paul or Minneapolis. More photos of other people of interest are expected in the next few days.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of these individuals is asked to contact ATF. Call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via www.ReportIt.com or the Report It mobile app, available on Google Play or Apple Apps Store. When using Report It, select “ATF - St Paul Field Division” as the reporting agency. Provide as much information as you can relating to the identities and whereabouts of these individuals or upload any videos or photos that may aid in an investigation.
ATF is working closely with the FBI to investigate crimes related to the recent unrest. It is not necessary to resubmit imagery to ATF that has previously been submitted to the FBI. Going forward, however, any video or photos the public is willing to share specifically related to business fires in the Twin Cities should be sent to ATF via the Report It platform.
The FBI continues to seek the public’s help in gathering information regarding violations of federal law related to the recent unrest in the Twin Cities. In addition to fires, the FBI is looking for people who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. The FBI asks for cooperation from all witnesses who believe they have relevant digital material or tips by calling 1-800-CALLFBI (800-225-5342) or providing still pictures or videos at: fbi.gov/violence.
This is the third ATF National Response Team activation to the State of Minnesota this year. The concurrent activation in Minneapolis is the fourth. The team responded to the Press Bar and Parlor fire in St. Cloud in January and a behavioral health clinic in Grand Rapids in February. Prior to that, the NRT had not been in Minnesota since 2004. This is the 12th NRT activation nationally this fiscal year and the 859th activation since the inception of the NRT in 1978.
ATF developed the NRT to bring its expertise to local, state and federal investigators in meeting the challenges faced at the scenes of significant explosions or fire incidents at no cost to the state or locals. The NRT can respond within 24 hours to assist state and local law enforcement/fire service personnel in large-scale fire investigations.
ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating fires and crimes of arson. For more information about ATF, go to www.atf.gov or follow @ATFHQ on Twitter. Follow @ATFStPaul on Twitter for updates regarding the two activations in the Twin Cities.
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