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Fires at Atlanta Target, Walmarts set as shoplifting distractions, say authorities

Fires at three Atlanta department stores are being investigated as arson, officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Investigators announced that they believe fires at the Target on Piedmont Road, as well as Walmart stores on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Howell Mill Road were set as distractions for shoplifters.

Atlanta fire officials say the fires were intentionally set to allow shoplifters an opportunity to escape as others rushed out of the burning stores.

Surveillance photos of suspects from the fires at Target and the Walmart on Martin Luther King Jr. were released in an effort to identify the suspected arsonists. They have

Investigators have not linked the fires to one another, despite the motives appearing the same.

A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonists.

The two Walmart stores have been closed since fires were set inside the stores a week apart in December.

Atlanta City Council members confirmed to Channel 2 Action News on Monday that the Walmart on MLK Jr. Dr. would reopen, but the Howell Mill Rd. location would remain permanently closed.

The fires caused millions of dollars in damage at the three stores.

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