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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Reward Notice

For Immediate Release

Friday, May 20, 2016
Contact: Special Agent Martin Siebenaler

Reward Offered in Melrose Church Fire

ST. PAUL, Minn. —The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal’s Office are seeking information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the March 11, 2016, fire at the Church of St. Mary located at 203 S. Fifth Ave. E., Melrose, Minn. ATF and the Fire Marshal — through the Minnesota Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators — are posting a combined reward of up to $7,500.

On March 11 at approximately 4:43 p.m., a fire was reported at the Church of St. Mary, which was built in 1898 and is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The fire, ruled “incendiary” caused extensive damage to the west side of the church and the loss is estimated at approximately $5 million.

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

Anyone having information about the fire at the Church of St. Mary should call the toll free ATF hotline at 888-ATF-FIRE (888-283-3473) or the Minnesota Arson Hotline at 800-723-2020. Callers may remain anonymous.

ATF is the Federal agency primarily responsible for administering and enforcing the criminal and regulatory provisions of the Federal laws pertaining to destructive devices, explosives, and arson. More information about ATF and its programs is available at


St. Paul Field Division