Two White Men Believed to be Alabama Church Arsonists

February 12, 2006 - Posted at 1:09 p.m. CST

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ Authorities say they're getting key

clues in their investigation into a series of church fires across

rural Alabama.

A federal investigator says two white men in their 20s or 30s

are believed to be responsible. He says witness accounts and other

leads are pointing to suspects who are probably close ``buddies''

and may live in an area south of Birmingham.

The spokesman for the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and

Explosives agency says the men are linked to pre-dawn arsons at

nine churches over the last ten days. A tenth fire yesterday

remains under investigation.

No motive has emerged for the fires, which broke out in mostly

isolated country settings. Five of the churches had white

congregations and five black. All were Baptist, the dominant faith

in the area.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)