The FBI is investigating whether a hate crime occurred when a suspected arsonist set fire to a pro-life pregnancy center on Wednesday morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
FBI spokesman Frank Fisher told KRQE News that they are asking the public for help to identify the person who set several fires inside Project Defending Life’s Albuquerque office. He said someone set the fires deliberately, KOB 4 reports.
“Hate crime could be on the table, depending on what we find,” Fisher said.The FBI released a video and images of a white car and its driver who parked near the office on Wednesday around the time when the fires were started.
However, the driver later identified herself as a pro-life volunteer who went to the chapel to pray and then left before the incident occurred, according to KOB 4. The volunteer said she was there around 11 p.m., and authorities estimate that someone started the fires around 12:32 a.m.
The Catholic-based pro-life organization is closed, and leaders said they are not sure when it will reopen. The building on San Mateo Boulevard NE sustained extensive damage from the fires. It is located across the street from a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. Another late-term abortion facility is about four miles away.
Dominique Davis, director of client services for Project Defending Life, told LifeNews that they do not know the full extent of the damage yet. She said they plan to meet with their insurance agent next week, but she estimated that the fire caused roughly several hundred thousand dollars worth of damage.
“While this intentional evil act was meant to scare us and inhibit us from doing our work, those who committed this crime can be assured it has not,” Davis said. “While our building may be finished, we are not, and we will find another place to set up.