Update at 5:15 p.m.
Authorities announced a $5,000 reward today for information leading to the conviction of whoever set an East County Catholic church ablaze, causing an estimated $50,000 worth of damage.
The non-injury fire at Santa Sophia Church on San Juan Street in Spring Valley erupted shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to sheriff's officials. It took crews about 10 minutes to extinguish the flames, arson Detective Anthony Portillo said.
Investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set, according to Portillo, who declined to disclose what led to that conclusion.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was called in to aid with the investigation.
"We are confident the public can assist in providing information on who could have done something so reckless," said Steven Bogdalek, special agent in charge of the federal agency.
Anyone with information about the case was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888)-580-8477. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
Authorities today were working to identify an arsonist who set a fire at a Catholic church in Spring Valley.
The non-injury fire at Santa Sophia Church at 9800 San Juan St. was reported shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to San Diego County sheriff's Bomb-Arson Unit Detective Anthony Portillo. Crews knocked out the fire within 10 minutes.
"Investigators determined the fire to be arson," Portillo said.
A damage estimate was pending.
-- City News Service