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$5,000 reward offered in Valley City arson case

Federal investigators are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest connected to the recent arson fire at Faith Lutheran Church in Valley City, N.D.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, St. Paul (Minn.) Field Division announced the reward in a press release Monday.

Anyone with information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the fire can call the following numbers, which are operated 24 hours per day, seven days a week:

* ATF Bismarck office: 701-328-9893

* Valley City Police Department: 701-845-3110

* North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation: 701-845-5556

Callers can be anonymous, according to the press release.

The church fire happened about 3:41 a.m. Oct. 21 and caused about $2.2 million in damage.

It was determined arson Oct. 23 and has since been under continuing investigation by ATF, Valley City police and North Dakota BCI.

“At this point, we’re just following up on any potential leads,” and hopefully the reward will get someone to talk, said Special Agent Robert Schmidt, public information officer for ATF in St. Paul.

There aren’t any specific circumstances that would lead to offering a reward like this for information on a case, Schmidt said. “This is just a tool that investigators can use,” he said.

Since the fire, Faith Lutheran Church’s congregation has temporarily relocated to a former office space at 575 10th St. SW.

Sun reporter Charly Haley can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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