Updated: Sunday, 09 Nov 2008, 1:57 PM EST
Published : Saturday, 08 Nov 2008, 11:43 AM EST
Federal, state and local authorities ruled Saturday, that it was an act of arson that destroyed a
Billed as the best in the country, a team of federal and local authorities announced Wednesday's blaze was arson. They are confident they'll find who it was that burned down the Macedonia Church of God in Christ.
“We have a very high success rate, higher than the national average in solving the crime of arson,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan.
Right away, members of the predominately black church raised suspicions that it was an act of hate. The flames broke out just hours after Barack Obama was elected president.
“Once the investigation is complete we have all the information then we can decide what makes the most sense in the prosecution whether it's a hate crime or serious crime of destruction,” said William Bennett, Hampden County District Attorney.
Bishop Bryant Robinson admitted his faith was tested but remains unbroken. "Their finding was a confirmation of what I was feeling in my spirit,” said Bishop Bryant Robinson of the
Authorities are aggressively warning this type of crime will not be tolerated.
Now a church that was ready to open its doors this spring, will have to rise from the ashes.
Investigators would not say what evidence lead them to determine that this was arson, but will say they are following multiple leads. They're urging anyone who saw anything to call authorities immediately.
The investigation team has set up an arson hotline. You can call 1-800-682-9229, 24-hours a day to provide your anonymous tip. A $5,000 reward is being offered.