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FBI Seeks Assistance from the Public
Announces $15,000 Reward for Information Related to the Fire at the Islamic Center of Joplin

FBI Kansas City August 01, 2012
  • Public Affairs Specialist Bridget Patton (816) 512-8200

KANSAS CITY—Eric K. Jackson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Kansas City Division, announced today a combined reward of $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for the recent fire at the Islamic Center of Joplin. The combined $15,000 reward is comprised of $10,000 from the FBI and $5,000 from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

On the morning of July 4, 2012 at approximately 3:30 a.m., reports were received regarding a fire on the roof of the Islamic Center of Joplin. The fire, which was extinguished by the Jasper County Fire Department, was a surface fire that was contained on the roof of the building and did not penetrate the building or cause any interior damage.

A review of the surveillance video showed an unidentified white male walking up to the building and throwing an ignited object onto the roof. Below is a full-face image taken from the surveillance video of the individual who threw the object onto the roof of the building.

Suspect in Fire at Islamic Center of Joplin (8/1/12)

Federal law criminalizes arson and vandalism against houses of worship committed either because of the race or ethnicity of the group using the property or, in certain circumstances, because of the religious nature of the property.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the ATF, and the Missouri Division of Fire Safety.

Law enforcement is requesting the assistance of the public in this matter. Anyone with information regarding this fire or the individual depicted in the surveillance video and the photo above is requested to contact any of the investigating agencies listed.

  • FBI Joplin Field Office: (417) 206-5700
  • Jasper County Sheriff’s Office: Detective Tim Williams (417) 358-8177, ext. 1223
  • ATF: (417) 837-2100
  • Missouri Division of Fire Safety Arson Hotline: 1-800-392-7766

UPDATE: On August 6, 2012, authorities responded to reports of a fire at the Islamic Center of Joplin. The building sustained a total loss. The FBI, along with the other agencies involved, will continue to investigate to determine if these two acts of violence are connected in any way. 

- Press release regarding August 6 fire at Islamic Center of Joplin

- Press release with enhanced photo of suspect in July 4 arson

- Press release announcing increased reward