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Suspect in custody for Provo arson cases

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Posted at 12:57 PM, Jun 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-12 23:46:06-04

PROVO, Utah - Officials have confirmed they have a person of interest in custody who may be responsible for a string of arson cases in Provo.

Provo Deputy Mayor Corey Norman said Thursday, "We arrested a person of interest a few months ago on unrelated charges. He is now the primary suspect."

Authorities have not released the name of the suspect or the nature of the unrelated charges at this time.

Provo City Fire Marshal Lynn Schofield said the cases of arson are the worst he's seen in his career.

"Of the 4 serial arsonists that I've worked with in my career, this is the most scary one I've dealt with in my career," he said.

Schofield said identifying the suspect was the work of numerous agencies coming together to investigate.

"We have invested a lot of resources, as soon as we identified that we did in fact have what we believed to be a serial arsonist, our police department put together a task force," Schofield said. "They spent a lot of time working to identify leads, and we've also been assisted by the Utah State Crime Lab, the ATF, and the Utah State Fire Marshals."

The fires happened from March to June of last year and affected several duplexes in Provo as well as an empty home set on fire twice. While the suspect has not been identified, Schofield said they have not seen anymore fires since that person was put behind bars on the unrelated charge.

"The fires stopped after they were taken into custody, so I'm very confident that we have identified the correct person, our hope is that we will be able to charge them soon," he said.

Officials said they are still looking for tips from the public as they build a case against the suspect and move to bring charges against him.