Authorities Still Not Ruling Out Crime in Adas Israel Fire, Investigation Continues

Police are interviewing two people of interest and those living around the synagogue.

DULUTH, Minn.- Police Chief Mike Tusken has ordered nearly two dozen officers and detectives with the Duluth Police Department to find out if anybody started the fire at the Adas Israel Synagogue, a place of worship for more than a century.

The Chief said his department is following up interviews with two people of interest who were at the scene when crews arrived.

Officers are also gathering more information from anybody who knows anything to find out whether the fire was an accident, or criminal.

“Our goal as part of this investigation is to have face time, knock on doors of anyone who has a vantage point or seen anything that it happened that may be of advantage to us in this investigation,” Chief Tusken said. “Hundreds of apartment buildings that we’ve been knocking on doors leaving business cards trying to get information.”

Authorities are also looking over hundreds of hours of surveillance video from nearby buildings, some of which standing out.

“To identify who perhaps may be in the area, what vehicles are in the area if there’s a license plate number on a car,” he said.

“I will say that there has been some surveillance that has been incredibly helpful.”

While Tusken is not getting into specifics, investigators have found more evidence.

Meanwhile, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are on scene, using their own equipment to help get to the bottom of this fire.

“For this particular investigation we have one of our certified fire investigators here on scene that is a member of the St. Paul Field Division and she has a wide array of technical equipment available to her in her vehicle,” Special Agent in charge William Terry Henderson. “And she will use that technical equipment as necessary.”

Chief Tusken adds there has been no evidence of threats to Adas Israel or any other place of worship in the City of Duluth.

Anyone with any type of information about this fire is asked to call Police or the ATF’s tipline at 1-888-283-3473.

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