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Arson Blamed For Church Fire, No Proof Of Hate Crime

This article is more than 13 years old.

Investigators say a fire that destroyed a church that was being built for a predominantly black congregation was intentionally set.

But they said Saturday that there's no evidence the arson was a hate crime, except for the timing of the fire hours after the nation elected its first black president.

The findings were announced at a news conference attended by local, state and federal safety officials, including state Fire Marshal Stephen Coan.

The fire early Wednesday destroyed the Macedonia Church of God in Christ's new building, which was scheduled to open in a few months. Damage was estimated at $2 million.

The church's pastor, Bishop Bryant Robinson, has vowed that the congregation would rebuild.

This program aired on November 8, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.



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