"The only hypothesis that could not be eliminated ... and was confirmed by extensive testing ... is incendiary," Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigator Rob Elder, special agent in charge for the Houston field office. Twelve of the 15 people who died were firefighters. Elder said a reward of up to $50,000 was being offered for information leading to the person or persons responsible for starting the blaze, adding that no arrests have been made.
Kenneth Bae, 47, speaking in Washington at a briefing hosted by U.S. Representative Charles Rangel, a Democrat from New York, also said the rest of the world should remember the suffering of North Korea's citizens. Bae, the longest held U.S. citizen in North Korea since the Korean War, offered encouragement to Kim Dong Chul and Otto Warmbler, who have been sentenced to hard labor in North Korea. Chul has been accused of subversion and Warmbler of trying to steal a propaganda banner.