GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is offering up to $5,000 for tips leading to an arsonist’s arrest. Now, city leaders are looking for closure, after the new Sumner County courthouse was set on fire in August.
“Well, like everyone else, I was quite surprised that something like that could happen in the city of Gallatin, and on top of our building,” said Mayor John Isbell.
For the first time in a one-on-one interview with News 2, Isbell took a look back since the fire was set, now knowing arson was the cause.
“What was the cost involved, was the building permanently damaged, was it something that is going to cost the tax-payers additional money?” were some of the initial questions Isbell asked, including whether or not anyone was injured. Investigators reported no injuries.
The flames, smoke and chaos that filled the street can be remembered by many who live and work near the building.
In October, the TBI released new surveillance video from the scene, capturing two people in the area prior to and immediately after the fire started.
To watch the full video, CLICK HERE.
“It’s unfortunate that we have citizens that take it upon themselves to destroy property. When you destroy county property, when you destroy anybody’s property, there’s a dollar amount attached to that, and whether Sumner County has to pay for that, or our contractors, its still things that should not happen in our community,” Isbell said.
News 2 asked the TBI if they could reveal what evidence pointed to arson. We were told because the investigation is ongoing, the department could not reveal that information.
Now, Isbell is hopeful answers will come.
“We are relieved to know, at least we know what happened. I know initial reports were lightning and to hear that it was arson, I will tell you that it’s disheartening to know that someone would do that to public property, so we will be very much relieved when TBI closes their investigation, and be able to figure out who created or who committed this act,” Isbell said.