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Former Carnahan canvasser linked to campaign office arson

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Congressman Russ Carnahan says that a suspect in last week's arson at his St. Louis campaign office is a former campaign worker.

Police arrested a man then released him without charges, but still will not publicly confirm his identity. Carnahan would not name the man either.

However the conservative blog Gateway Pundit, citing a source close to the case, named the man and said he was a former campaign worker.

Carnahan says the person worked for five days as a paid canvasser and was fired for not doing his job. The Democrat held a news conference Wednesday to denounce allegations the attack was an inside job.

"It's ridiculous," Carnahan said. "This is the kind of thing that is somebody's worst nightmare in a campaign office where people come to work and you want them to be safe."

The fire started early in the morning on Aug. 17 when someone broke a rear window on Carnahan's campaign office on Chippewa Ave. in south St. Louis and threw a flaming object inside.

Carnahan, who's running for a fourth term in Congress, faces Republican Ed Martin in November.

Immediately after the attack, Martin issued a statement denouncing the violence.

While the suspect has not been charged, prosecutors said last week they have taken the case "under advisement." Police say the investigation will continue.