Criminal Justice News

Monday, November 04, 2013

ATF Announces Reward for Information on Valley City Faith Lutheran Church Arson

ST. PAUL — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), St. Paul Field Division Special Agent in Charge Scott D. Sweetow today announced a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the arson fire to the Faith Lutheran Church, in Valley City, N.D.

At approximately 3:41 a.m., Oct. 21, a fire was reported at the Faith Lutheran Church located at 251 4th Street N.E., Valley City. The Valley City Fire Department responded to the scene and suppressed the structure fire. ATF, Valley City Fire Department and the North Dakota State Fire Marshal’s Office conducted a fire scene examination and determined that the fire was deliberately set. The loss value is estimated at approximately 2.2 million. The Valley City Police Department and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation are also assisting with the investigation.

"This arson was a deliberate attack on a house of worship destroying a local piece of history and testing one’s understanding of how someone could commit such a cowardly crime," said Sweetow.

Investigators are seeking the public’s help in solving this crime and are hopeful that the reward will provide additional leads in this investigation.

Anyone having information about the arson should call the following numbers, which are operational 24–hours per day, seven days a week; and callers can remain anonymous.

ATF–Bismarck Satellite Office: (701) 328–9893

Valley City Police Department: (701) 845–3110

North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation: (701) 845–5556

More information about ATF and its programs is available at

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