Atlanta Fire Rescue Department investigators are looking for two persons of interest in the arson cases at two Walmarts in December and a Target store on Jan. 23.

AFRD released surveillance images of two men possibly connected to all three cases. Investigators believe the fires were set to cause a distraction while accomplices shoplifted items and escaped with patrons rushing to evacuate the burning stores.

The fires have caused millions of dollars in damage at the stores, including the Howell Mill Road location of Walmart, which announced on Tuesday it would not reopen.

The Vine City store on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is reopening as a Walmart Neighborhood Market focused on groceries and pharmacy needs.

The Target store at 2539 Piedmont Road in Buckhead was evacuated due to a fire last night and remains closed.

The Georgia Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are aiding in the investigations.

Anyone who can help identify those responsible for fires is eligible for a $10,000 reward upon arrest and conviction of the arsonists.

Anyone with information should contact the Arson Control Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.