Mayor Slay meets with pastors attacked by arsonist

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says the investigation into recent church fires in the St. Louis area is a top priority.  Monday the mayor met with the pastors of the churches attacked by an arsonist.

Five pastors and members of their congregations met with Mayor Slay this afternoon at St. Louis police department headquarters.  There have been seven fires sets at of worship in the St. Louis area in the past two weeks.

The mayor says finding the person or persons responsible for the arsons are a top priority at the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

The city police chief, fire chief, bomb and arson investigators, FBI and ATF agents along with a representative from the Missouri Attorney General's Office were at the meeting to assure the pastors that they will solve the crime.  Most of the churches have predominantly African-American congregations. The mayor did want to speculate about a motive.

Fire officials say the fires are very similar to each other. In every case, the front doors were ignited, leaving damage that ranged from minor to heavy.

A reward of $9,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for the church fires.