Arson investigation underway after church fire - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Arson investigation underway after church fire

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SPRING VALLEY (CNS) - Authorities announced a $5,000 reward Wednesday for information leading to the conviction of whoever set an East County Catholic church ablaze, causing an estimated $50,000 worth of damage.

The non-injury fire at Santa Sophia Church on San Juan Street in Spring Valley erupted shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to sheriff's officials. It took crews about 10 minutes to extinguish the flames, arson Detective Anthony Portillo said.

Investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set, according to Portillo, who declined to disclose what led to that conclusion.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was called in to aid with the investigation.

"We are confident the public can assist in providing information on who could have done something so reckless," said Steven Bogdalek, special agent in charge of the federal agency.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888)-580-8477. Tipsters may remain anonymous.


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