FBI investigating fire at Planned Parenthood clinic as possible hate crime

The FBI announced Tuesday that it is investigating a small fire at a Missouri Planned Parenthood clinic as a possible hate crime.

The agency said the fire, which occurred early Sunday morning, was set intentionally, according to The Associated Press.

Firefighters investigating the blaze at the Columbia, Mo., clinic said earlier this week that it was “suspicious in nature.”

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The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction, according to the AP. The agency said a person in dark clothing was seen on surveillance video entering the clinic and walking out shortly after. Smoke was coming from the building as the person left, according to the FBI.

There were no injuries in the fire, and no one was inside the building at the time. The fire was extinguished by the sprinkler system in the clinic.

The fire, if set intentionally, could be a violation of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, a civil rights law protecting reproductive health facilities, according to the AP.

The clinic has been unable to provide abortions due to newly imposed state requirements. The state currently has one clinic, in St. Louis, that provides abortions, though the Columbia clinic has been attempting to secure necessary privileges.

Brandon Hill, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said the Columbia clinic will be closed for the remainder of the week as the investigation continues.

“Make no mistake -- we are committed to provide care in the Columbia community, and this crime will not deter us from our mission,” Hill said Tuesday.