On Thursday, the Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers released new pictures and videos from the night of the fire at the Governor’s Mansion. They had not been seen by anyone outside of law enforcement until then.
They included two renderings of the man believed to have thrown a Molotov cocktail onto the front steps of the mansion in the early morning hours of June 8, 2008. He is a white male, about 5'10", and weighs between 175 and 185 pounds. No age was released.
Investigators, however, did release video of the arson at the mansion itself. Though it is grainy and in black and white, it captures a crime that is still unsolved.
In the video a man can be seen sparking a flame and throwing the Molotov cocktail. When it crashes and explodes into a ball of fire, the arsonist runs away.
Investigators chose to release the video in the hope that someone might recognize the criminal in the act. They are hoping that something about his mannerisms might spark a lead.
“We’re quite confident that someone knows who this person is,” said Col Steve McCraw with the Department of Public Safety.
Tony Leal with the Texas Rangers said he may be recognizable by “the way he runs or the way he carries himself.”
Also released was video of a suspicious white Jeep Cherokee outside the Governor’s Mansion taken four days before the fire.
Agents discovered the vehicle after they began reviewing surveillance video from 11 cameras taken before the fire.
From the back seat of the Jeep, camera flashes can be seen in what is now being called a pre-surveillance mission.
Investigators said the vehicle and its three occupants are tied to an Austin-based anarchist group that plotted to bomb the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 2008, and failed.
None of the passengers is believed to be the arsonist at the mansion, however investigators say that at least one of them was in Austin on the night of the fire.
Click here to see the videos.