The suspect has been identified in an arson fire that destroyed a central Iowa church, and he’s a dead man. 44-year-old Tracy White was wnted in connection with an arson fire at his girlfriend’s apartment when he led a police chase and an officer found himself facing a shotgun, fired his own service revolver, and killed White. Warren County attorney Gary Kendell says it wasn’t clear at first that there was any connection, but the first step was establishing whether the church fire was deliberately set, and to do that, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department got help from the state Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. They determined the fire was intentionally set and that, if Tracy White were still alive, he’d be charged with setting that fire. They got accounts from eyewitnesses who’d been at the church on the day of the fire, who described an individual and his car. Kendell says the car spotted at the church that day that matched the description of White’s vehicle. The church is in the small community of Milo, about 20 miles south of the Des Moines neighborhood where White died. Later on that night Tracy White was shot and killed by police, and Kendell says his vehicle and clothing matched descriptions given by the witnesses earlier the same day down by the church. It took some time to get all the information but the search produced undeniable evidence. Kendell says investigators got a warrant and searched the dead man’s car. They recovered 2 disposable cameras from the glove box of White’s vehicle…and on the film, found shots of the Rosemount church, and of their witnesses, one of whom had said that “this guy he didn’t know” had taken his picture by the church that day. Kendell says while there will be no charges filed, investigators are confident they’ve put the case all together correctly and that gives some closure to people mourning the 88-year-old church.
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