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Photos of arson suspects released, reward offered in Walmart and Target fires

Fires have been set at two Atlanta Walmart stores and, just yesterday, a Target in Buckhead.

ATLANTA — Authorities are looking to identify two people they believe could be responsible for recent fires at Atlanta Walmart and Target stores. 

Photos shared by the Atlanta Fire Department show a heavy set Black man with an orange ski cap and reflective construction vest at a Walmart on Martin Luther King Jr Drive in Vine City. 

In the Target photo, a man is seen pushing a shopping cart with with what appears to be a suitcase in it. That man is wearing a baseball hat, some sort of scarf and a medical mask over his face. 

"Investigators believe the suspects intentionally set the fires to create a distraction, allowing the offenders to shoplift items and escape as patrons rushed to exit the burning stores," the fire department said in a news release.

They went on to say that the fires have "resulted in millions of dollars in damage." 

RELATED: Future of 2 Atlanta Walmart stores | Vine City to reopen, Howell Mill Road location permanently closed

There have been a number of recent fires at large retail stores in and around Atlanta. 

Credit: Atlanta Fire

Two Walmarts were closed after fires on the city's Westside, with one - on Howell Mill Road - now set for permanent closure. 

Walmart attributed both fires to arson, though the investigators have only identiu

The Walmart that is slated to eventually reopen, in Vine City, was shut after a fire in December. A few days later the fire at Howell Mill Road occurred.

On Monday night, the Buckhead Target store on Piedmont Road was evacuated after a fire broke out inside the store. 

"Although the motive for the fires appears to be the same, investigators have not linked the fires," the department said.

A Walmart in Peachtree City last year was closed for more than four months after a 14-year-old set a fire that grew and burned through much of the store.

The Georgia Arson Control is offering a reward up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those wanted. You are urged to call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-282-5804.

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