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ATF offers $5,000 reward in west Wichita mosque arson

The fire that heavily damaged a west Wichita mosque early on Halloween morning was an arson, a fire department official said Thursday, May 10.
The fire that heavily damaged a west Wichita mosque early on Halloween morning was an arson, a fire department official said Thursday, May 10. The Wichita Eagle

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the arson that heavily damaged a mosque in west Wichita last Halloween.

The fire at the Islamic Association of Mid-Kansas, 3406 W. Taft, caused an estimated $150,000 damage, Wichita Fire Marshal Brad Crisp said Wednesday. Extensive technical analysis of evidence at the ATF’s Fire Research Laboratory determined the fire was intentionally set, Crisp said.

“We’re confident that there’s somebody out there that has information about this case,” he said. “There’s a handful of people who know how that fire started” — investigators and the person or people who started it.

People talk, he added, and hopefully someone who heard them will be motivated to notify authorities.

Investigators haven’t completely ruled out the possibility that the arson is a hate crime.

“There’s always that possibility,” Crisp said. “This is a church. It happens to be an Islamic church.”

Anyone with information about the mosque fire can call the ATF at 888-ATF-FIRE, the FBI at 316-262-0031 or the Wichita Fire Department at 316-337-9146.

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