The city released surveillance camera footage Tuesday of a suspect who is believed to have started the fire that damaged sections of the Sherman Public Library on April 26.
“Our hope is that somebody will see something or remember something and contact our tip line and let them know — let the investigators know — so we can have a more complete picture of what happen,” Sherman Community and Support Services Manager Nate Strauch said.
The city condensed about 30 minutes of surveillance footage taken from a camera at the plant food business across Walnut Street into a nearly five minute video. The camera faces west towards the library, and the footage shows a suspect leave from the back of the library and wander through the parking lot of the business.
The suspect then stops and sits on a curb on Walnut Street for several minutes before running away. A few minutes later the suspect returns, and Strauch noted the suspect possibly re-enters the library. Several minutes later as a fire truck arrives at the library, the suspect leaves walking south on Walnut Street.
While the footage is grainy with just the outline of the suspect visible, Strauch noted that the footage may help spur people’s memories, which could aid in the investigation.
“The more information we can put out there and get into the public’s eye, the greater the chance is that somebody will see something that will remind them of something,” Strauch said.
Firefighters responded to the library shortly after 2 a.m. on April 26, and they had the flames under control in less than 10 minutes. The majority of the library’s collection was spared significant damage as the fire, which officials said was intentionally set, was contained to sections inside the building.
“In the areas that the fire was contained to, the damage was very severe,” Strauch said. “But thankfully because of the quick work and smart firefighting techniques of Sherman Fire-Rescue, the fire did not spread to other areas of the library.”
On April 28, the city offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the fire. Officials noted in the announcement of the reward that the suspect gained entry into the library at about 1:30 a.m. and started a series of fires.
Strauch said that investigators have sent several items collected from the library to a state lab in order to run forensics tests. He said the items are believed to have been handled or used by the suspect at the library.
“The hope is that it will turn up DNA evidence that could be use to identify our suspect,” Strauch said.
A temporary public library opened Monday at the Glennie O. Han Community Center at 1000 N. East St. Strauch noted the hope is have the main library reopen sometime during the summer.
People with information on the fire can call the tip line for Sherman Fire-Rescue at 903-957-3473.