Cause of Lake Travis mosque fire yet to be determined

Scene of the mosque after a fire destroys the Islamic Center of Lake Travis_396696

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Investigators on the fire that destroyed a Lake Travis mosque say their report on the cause has still not been finalized.

The under-construction Islamic Center of Lake Travis, at 4701 Doss Road, burned to the ground on Jan. 7 at 3:55 a.m.

The Travis County Fire Marshal’s Office, due to the sensitive nature of the fire happening at a place of worship, requested assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Austin Fire Department Canine Detection Unit. Investigators say they conducted a detailed examination of the fire scene, including hundreds of hours of interviews and sifting through the debris to determine the origin of the fire.

They also had a “significant” amount of surveillance footage from the surrounding area to go through. Investigators from the Fire Marshal’s Office presented their findings last week to special agents from the ATF and the Joint Terrorism Task Force under the direction of the FBI. All agencies involved have agreed with the findings so far, the fire marshal said.

The case remains open as authorities work to finalize their report on the cause of the fire. Investigators say they have found no evidence to connect the Lake Travis incident with any other fire involving mosques in the United States, including the fire at a mosque in Victoria, Texas last month. Wednesday, according to the Victoria Advocate, the mosque fire in Victoria has been ruled as arson.

“Representatives from the Islamic Center of Lake Travis also continue to cooperate with investigators and have shown patience throughout this extensive process,” the marshal’s office said.

Anyone with information regarding the fire at the Islamic Center of Lake Travis is asked to call TCFMO at 512-854-4621.

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