LA police have a man in custody they say is a "person of interest" in the spate of car fires that have hit the Hollywood neighborhood in recent days.
The detention follows an early-morning frenzy of arson fires across the Hollywood area on Monday. Eleven fires were reported in two hours, beginning at 1:30 a.m., most to cars and carports in apartment complexes, police and fire officials said.
It was unclear early Monday if the fires were connected to a string of arsons in the Hollywood area.
Officials said Sunday that they have linked at least 39 fires to those arsons, which began Friday morning.
They declined to say what evidence tied the cases together or to give more information about how the fires were set. Law enforcement sources told The Times that detectives were concerned that releasing more information could prompt the arsonist or arsonists to change tactics and could encourage copycats.
An image of a "person of interest" was caught on a video that showed a car fire Saturday night inside the parking structure of the Hollywood & Highland complex on Hollywood Boulevard.
The LAPD is asking residents to leave porch and carport lights on at night and make sure cars are locked. Authorities also are asking residents to immediately report anything suspicious by calling 911.
I doubt whether there is a political motivation behind these fires. The arsonist is not targeting any particular make or model of car. His hits seem to be random. The fact that there have been so many speaks to someone enraged at something - or a "voices in my head" spree.
We'll see if there are fewer fires tonight now that they have someone in custody.