UPDATE: Police now believe that Christopher Monfort, the suspect in the murder of Officer Tim Brenton, is also responsible for the fires. Details after the jump.
Did the torching of three police cars have anything to do with the murder of a Seattle cop?
On October 22nd, someone torched four police vehicles including three squad cars in a city maintenance yard near Qwest Field. Police didn't say much about it then, labeling the incident an arson without releasing many details. Now, in light of the murder of Officer Timothy Brenton, a source has told the Seattle Times that investigators may be taking a closer look at the fires.The source tells the Times that the arsonist left a note threatening the lives of Seattle police officers. They also claim that pipe bombs were found at the scene. A detail that suggests something more than a one-off prank, as do the fliers referring to police brutality found near the fires.
The obvious question here is if any link can be found to connect the police car fires to Officer Brenton's murder. And on that note, Seattle police aren't elaborating.
"We're not saying that they're related and we're not saying that they're not related," said police spokesperson Mark Jamieson.
Just as details were withheld when the arson first took place, it's perfectly logical to think that investigators would, and should, keep things close to the vest now, in the middle of a highly-publicized murder investigation. As Jamieson hinted at when talking about the possibility of finding a link between the two incidents: "I think the investigators would be remiss not to look at everything that has happened."
UPDATE: Police are saying Monfort is their prime suspect. He got pulled over by Seattle police for the third time in two years just six days before the arson.
Monfort remains in serious condition at Harborview after being shot in the head by police on Friday.