Suspect Arrested in Serial Arsonist Case

Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (search) arrested a District of Columbia man on Wednesday who they suspect may be responsible for more than 40 fires in the Washington region.

Authorities made the arrest around 9 a.m. in Prince George's County, Md., ATF spokesman Mike Campbell said. Charges were expected later in the day in D.C. Superior Court, Campbell said.

"The complaint is going to be in the district," Campbell said. But the suspect would appear in a Maryland court first, he said.

Campbell said the man is a D.C. resident in his 50s, but declined to release his name.

DNA evidence may have linked the suspect to the fires, WRC-TV reported.

The serial arsonist is suspected in more than 40 fires set in D.C., Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland, Alexandria, Va., and Fairfax County, Va.

The fires began on March 8, 2003, in the district. One blaze -- on June 5, 2003 in Northeast Washington -- killed an elderly woman.