Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety are looking for three "persons of interest" and one suspect in their ongoing investigation into the 2008 the Governor's Mansion arson. A sketch of a potential suspect and new video has been released.
That video shows three people seen driving in a white Jeep Cherokee near the Mansion around 2:00 a. m. four days before the fire. Investigators say these people were taking pictures of the Mansion. In the video, flashes can be seen from the windows.
"We've identified that one of the persons of interest happen to be in downtown Austin in the early hours when the arson occurred," Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw told reporters in a press briefing Thursday afternoon.
DPS has interviewed the three people in the car. One denied being in the vehicle but, after failing a polygraph test, admitted to being in the vehicle and taking pictures. But none of them is identifying the suspect that threw the Molotov cocktail. Officials don't believe the suspect was in the Jeep.
All of this information came forth when DPS decided to restart the investigation in October 2009. Since then Texas DPS Director Steven McCraw said investigators have made another connection.
“We also established a direct link with these individuals to an Austin based anarchist group that was linked to the planned arson on the attack on the RNC in Minnesota in September 2008,” he said.
DPS officials hope the new details released with bring more information from the public. A reward of $50,000 in cash is available to someone with information who can lead to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible.
The Governor's Mansion was set ablaze in the early morning hours on June 8, 2008. It took more than a hundred firefighters to douse the fire. The 153-year old Mansion suffered heavy structural and architectural damage to the roof, facade and interior of the building.