Texas

After news that arson caused blast, West faces new questions

  • FILE - This April 18, 2013 aerial file photo shows the remains of a nursing home, left, apartment complex, center, and fertilizer plant, right, destroyed by an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Federal authorities announced Wednesday, May 11, 2016, that the fire that caused the deadly explosion in 2013 was a criminal act. The explosion killed 15 people, injured hundreds and left part of the small town in ruins. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

    FILE - This April 18, 2013 aerial file photo shows the remains of a nursing home, left, apartment complex, center, and fertilizer plant, right, destroyed by an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. Federal authorities announced Wednesday, May 11, 2016, that the fire that caused the deadly explosion in 2013 was a criminal act. The explosion killed 15 people, injured hundreds and left part of the small town in ruins. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms special agent Robert Elder, center, talks to reporters during a press conference, Wednesday, May 11, 2016, in West, Texas. Elder said the fire that led to an explosion at the West, Texas, fertilizer plant that killed 15 people in 2013 was a criminal act. Elder said investigators came to the conclusion after ruling out other reasonable causes, but he didn't release specifics. Standing next to Elder is McLennan County district attorney Able Reyna, left. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald, via AP)

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms special agent Robert Elder, center, talks to reporters during a press conference, Wednesday, May 11, 2016, in West, Texas. Elder said the fire that led to an explosion at the West, Texas, fertilizer plant that killed 15 people in 2013 was a criminal act. Elder said investigators came to the conclusion after ruling out other reasonable causes, but he didn't release specifics. Standing next to Elder is McLennan County district attorney Able Reyna, left. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald, via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • McLennan County district attorney Able Reyna, left. and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms special agent Robert Elder, right, talk to reporters  reporters during a press conference, Wednesday, May 11, 2016, in West, Texas. Elder said the fire that led to an explosion at the West, Texas, fertilizer plant that killed 15 people in 2013 was a criminal act. Elder said investigators came to the conclusion after ruling out other reasonable causes, but he didn't release specifics. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald, via AP)

    McLennan County district attorney Able Reyna, left. and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms special agent Robert Elder, right, talk to reporters reporters during a press conference, Wednesday, May 11, 2016, in West, Texas. Elder said the fire that led to an explosion at the West, Texas, fertilizer plant that killed 15 people in 2013 was a criminal act. Elder said investigators came to the conclusion after ruling out other reasonable causes, but he didn't release specifics. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald, via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Federal agents say they believe someone intentionally set the fire that led to a 2013 fertilizer plant blast that killed 15 people and devastated a small Central Texas farming town.

That revelation is leading residents to wonder: Who? And why?

Mary Sanders' son Kevin was among the 12 first responders killed when the blast tore through the West Fertilizer plant. She says a few of those thoughts went through her mind, freshening the pain just as she and her family were "just finally coping" with his death.

Law enforcement experts said a suspect's intent could be important as prosecutors decide whether to pursue arson, murder or domestic terrorism charges. Intent also could pay a role in sentencing should the government proceed with a case and win.