JOPLIN, MO—The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), announced today a reward of $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for a fire at the Islamic Center of Joplin on July 4, 2012. This is an increase from the original reward of $15,000 announced on July 16. The combined $50,000 reward is comprised of $40,000 from the FBI and $10,000 from the ATF.
On the morning of July 4, 2012 at approximately 3:30 a.m., an arson fire occurred on the roof of the Islamic Center of Joplin. The fire was contained to the surface of the roof and did not penetrate the building. A review of surveillance video showed an unidentified white male walk up to the building and throw an ignited object onto the roof.
The reward was increased to place a greater emphasis on the assistance needed by the public. Something that may seem insignificant to an individual can be very significant to an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information should contact law enforcement:
■FBI Joplin Field Office 417-206-5700;
■ATF 1-888-ATF-FIRE or 417-837-2100;
■Jasper County Sherriff’s Office 417-358-8177; or
■Missouri Arson Hotline at 1-800-392-7766.
The ongoing criminal investigation is being conducted by the FBI, the ATF, the Missouri Division of Fire Safety’s Office and the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department. Surveillance video, press releases, and enhanced images of the suspect from the July 4 fire are available at http://www.fbi.gov/kansascity.
In addition, during the early morning hours of August 6, 2012, another fire occurred at the Islamic Center of Joplin. The center, which was unoccupied at the time, sustained a total loss. Although the cause of the fire on August 6 remains undetermined, significant law enforcement resources are being utilized in furtherance of the investigation into the July 4 and the August 6 incidents. Anyone with information about the August 6 fires should contact law enforcement at the numbers above.
■FBI: Public Affairs Specialist Bridget Patton, 816-512-8200
■ATF: Special Agent/PIO Trista Frederick, 816-559-0724
■Jasper County Sheriff’s Office: 417-358-8177
■Missouri Division of Fire Safety: Mike O’Connell, Mo. Dept. of Public Safety Communications Director: 573-751-4819