The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward leading to the identity of the arsonist involved in setting the St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church on fire in September this year.
The fire, which was set shortly after 4 am on September 17 at the church’s administration building caused significant damage to the building located at 51 Commonwealth Ave. in the Laurel Heights neighborhood. Housed church offices, a library and a Sunday school were damaged by the fire.
“This act of violence was not just an attack on a building, but on a congregation. This was an attack on a community,” FBI Special Agent Craig Fair said in a news release announcing the $50,000 reward for the church arson.
The fire followed two anti-Armenian incidents that occurred earlier in the year in San Francisco. In a July incident, hateful graffiti was found on the KZV Armenian School building which was followed by gunshots fired at the school in September. FBI officials are not sure yet whether these incidents were related to the St. Gregory arson.
“We are counting on assistance from members of the community to keep our city safe. Every lead will be thoroughly investigated,” Fair said.
“Regardless of how insignificant you think your information might be, we strongly encourage you to come forward and we welcome your information and assistance.”
If you have information, call the FBI San Francisco Division at 415-553-7400 or go to tips.fbi.gov. You can also call the SFPD anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411.