2 Texas Church Fires Deemed Arson

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Investigators have determined that two rural church fires on the same night this week in east Texas were the acts of an arsonist.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced its findings Wednesday night on the fires that damaged Dover Baptist Church and Clear Spring Missionary Baptist Church. Both churches are within three miles of each other outside Tyler.

The two fires occurred Monday night within an hour of each other.

ATF Dallas spokesman Thomas Crowley says those incidents bring to nine the number of deliberately set church fires in the area since Jan. 1.

No injuries have been reported, but agents suspect a serial arsonist or group of arsonists in the fires.

Tyler is about 90 miles east of Dallas.