WalMart arson fire under investigation, person of interest sought

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Investigators are asking for the public to be on the lookout for a person of interest in an early morning arson fire at a popular store.

Firefighters were called to the WalMart at 16th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday.

When crews arrived on the scene, they found a fire had been set in the men's clothing department. The sprinklers were activated and had doused the flames by the time firefighters got there.

Aerial video from the scene did not show much in the way of damage, but crews had taped off a portion of the parking lot.

A WalMart employee told 3TV the fire kept them from opening Tuesday morning. That employee was not sure when the store would be able to open its doors to customers.

No injuries were reported, but investigators have determined that the fire was deliberately set.

While few details were immediately available, the Phoenix Fire Department released a surveillance photo of a person of interest in the case. They are not calling the man a suspect, but they would like to talk to him about Tuesday morning's fire.

Investigators also released a photo of the car the man is believed to be driving.

If you have information about the incident or the person in the photo above, call the Arson Hotline at 602-262-7766 (602-26-ARSON) or 1-800-35-ARSON.