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DPS: 13 Unsolved Church Arson Fires – Including Melrose – Since 2012

(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)
(Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON)

UNDATED – Thirteen churches in eight Minnesota communities have been intentionally started on fire in just the past five years, including last year’s fire in Melrose.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is renewing a call for anyone to come forward with information about these unsolved cases.

Besides the millions of dollars in damage done last year to the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Melrose, other unsolved arsons at places of worship include the Darling Historic Church in Little Falls in March of this year. And, a surveillance camera captured a suspect walking into an Isanti church in the middle of the night and trying to light on fire part of the building under construction.

Notable unsolved arsons in places of worship since 2012

  • Darling Historic Church on March 24, 2017, in Little Falls.
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Church on March 11, 2016, in Melrose.
  • Abandoned church on Aug. 22, 2016, in Deer Creek.
  • Church, Inc., building on Feb. 15, 2016, in St. Paul.
  • Bethany Lutheran Church on June 13, 2014, in Minneapolis.
  • Open Arms Assembly of God on Sept. 6, 2014, in St. Paul.
  • Community Covenant Church on July 11, 2013, in Minneapolis.
  • Faith Baptist Church on Aug. 26, 2013, in St. Paul.
  • St. Elizabeth Catholic Church on May 28, 2012, in Isanti.

Authorities do not believe any of these church fires are connected.

You can call the Minnesota Arson Hotline 800-723-2020. You can remain anonymous, are rewards up to $5,000 are available.

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