The Justice Department is investigating a rash of fires at black churches to determine whether the cause is arson and hate crimes.
"The federal law enforcement team of ATF, FBI, the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorneys' Offices are actively investigating several church fires across five states that have occurred over the past two weeks," Justice Department spokeswoman Melanie Newman stated on Thursday.
"Preliminary investigations indicate that two of the fires were started by natural causes and one was the result of an electrical fire," Newman continued. "All of the fires remain under active investigation and … the investigations have not revealed any potential links between the fires."
A civil rights organization called Thursday for an investigation and the largest union of federal workers said it was concerned about the incidents.