BOZEMAN, Mont. - The following is a press release from the FBI:
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the person or persons who vandalized three churches in Bozeman, Montana. The FBI is investigating the matters as a hate crime due to the sheer volume of profane anti-religious graffiti and acts of arson discovered inside the churches. In addition, suspects are facing potential state felony charges associated with arson, burglary, and defacing a religious institution.
The incidents, which appear to be related, occurred in March, April, and August 2013, and no arrests have been made in any of the threecases. The Bozeman Police Department, the Montana State University Police Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been collaborating on the investigation and are seeking the public's assistance with any information on the incidents.
More about the vandalism and arsons:
The first incident occurred on March 9, 2013, at the Kirkwood Baptist Church on 309 North 15th Avenue in Bozeman. The second incident occurred on April 7, 2013, at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church on 220 West Main Street in Bozeman. The third incident occurred on August 15, 2013, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 1316 S 5th Ave in Bozeman. The churches were broken into during the late evening or early morning hours. Inside the churches, anti-religious statements were spray-painted, multiple fires were set, religious items were desecrated, and significant property damage occurred.
How to submit tips:
Anyone who has information about the incidents or the person or persons who committed these acts is asked to contact the FBI's Bozeman Office at (406)994-0927, the Bozeman Police Department at (406)582-2010, or the Montana State University Police at 406-994-2121, or e-mail tips to the FBI Salt Lake City Division, which covers Montana, at SaltLakeCity@ic.fbi.gov.