FBI San Francisco
San Francisco Media Office
December 16, 2020

FBI San Francisco Offers $50,000 Reward in Church Arson

The FBI, SFPD, and SFFD are Seeking Information on the Arson at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church

SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the San Francisco Police Department, and the San Francisco Fire Department are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the individual(s) responsible for an arson that occurred at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church in San Francisco. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of the individual or individuals responsible for this arson.

“This act of violence was not just an attack on a building, but on a congregation. This was an attack on a community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair. “We are counting on assistance from members of the community to keep our city safe. Every lead will be thoroughly investigated. Regardless of how insignificant you think your information might be, we strongly encourage you to come forward and we welcome your information and assistance.”

On September 17, 2020, at approximately 4:15 a.m., an unidentified arsonist set fire to the church’s administration building, which housed offices, a library, and a Sunday school. The building sustained significant fire, smoke, and water damage. No injuries were reported.

On July 24, 2020, hateful graffiti was discovered at San Francisco’s KZV Armenian School. On September 19, 2020, gun shots were fired at the school. At this time, the FBI does not know if these incidents are related to the arson at St. Gregory. We urge the public to come forward if you have any information on any of these incidents.

The FBI takes all acts or threats of violence seriously and is committed to investigating crimes that are potentially hate-motivated. The FBI has jurisdiction to investigate fires set at houses of worship under the Church Arson Prevention Act of 1996.

If you have any information, please contact the FBI San Francisco Division at (415) 553-7400 or tips.fbi.gov. Tips can remain anonymous. You can also contact the San Francisco Police Department’s Anonymous Tip Line at (415) 575-4444, or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD, which guarantees the callers’ anonymity.

*For media inquiries, please contact the FBI San Francisco Media Office at media.sf@fbi.gov*

Damage in church administration building

Damage in church administration building

St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church

St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church