Anonymous tipster plays role in church arson arrests - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Anonymous tipster plays role in church arson arrests

By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Through a lot of research, we're learning exactly how the two men charged in the Dover Baptist Church arson, Jason Bourque and Daniel McAllister, were caught. A big part of their arrest came from the help of an anonymous tipster who has been feeding us information for nearly two weeks now. Everything she has told KLTV has been accurate. In fact, she named the suspects to us a week and a half ago.

Search warrants reveal investigators followed a trail of clues, found from the same shoe prints at many of the burned churches. An FBI crime lab identified the same Skecher's shoe print as well as a large Red Wing work boot print from most of the scenes. Turns out, a pair of muddy Skecher's matching those prints, were found at Jason Bourque's residence.

What's more, a friend of Daniel McAllister's said he gave her a Fender guitar as a birthday present - one stolen from a church. For their safety, we are keeping her family's identity anonymous. Her mother said it was a tough decision to tell authorities.

"In her heart she felt like the Lord wanted her to tell the truth but she was afraid about her safety and she has two very young children," said the tipster. "I think she made the right decision and I strongly believe that she fingered them and they got caught."

She says they led investigators to stolen guitars and music equipment where McAllister was stashing them in a storage building on her in-laws property.

"I really think that her naming names and knowing that Daniel had verbally already confessed to what he had done and her knowing where that guitar came from and her calling ATF I believe it split the doors wide open for them."

We also found out, the ATF went to Canton Pawn Shop. Tim McGrady says they were looking for a stolen Ventura and Washburn guitar.

"I looked through to see if there was anybody that had come in as far as their names and then I looked through the descriptions of everything we had just taken in and we didn't have it," said McGrady.

That turned out to be a dead end, though records show McAllister had done business there before.

"I believe '05 was the last time he'd been in," said McGrady.

A crucial piece of evidence is in surveillance video from the Exxon station at I-20 and Highway 110. McAllister and Bourque were spotted there and at another gas station after Dover and Clear Spring Missionary Baptist were set on fire.

You can read all the details found in the search warrants and arrest affidavits.

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