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By MIKE CORN
ELLIS -- Large and small, at least 20 fires in rural Ellis County were deemed suspicious earlier this year.
Despite hundreds of hours of investigation by the Ellis County Sheriff's office and the State Fire Marshal's office, no one has been arrested in connection with the fires.
Authorities, however, have suggested they've long had a suspect in the case. No arrests have been made and no new fires have been reported.
The fires first broke out in March, but initially Ellis County rural firefighters responded thinking they were the result of dry conditions.
But the fires continued.
As the number of fires started, the size of the fires increased as well, taking in as much as 1,200 acres in a single fire in mid-March.
It was one of three an investigator from the State Fire Marshal's office was looking at to determine if the fires were intentionally set by someone.
The State Fire Marshal's office in March said "there have been 20 fires that have been ruled incendiary or crimes of arson."
"We've got to catch this person who's doing this before someone gets hurt," Klaus said at the height of the fires.
The string of fires prompted sheriff's deputies to flood rural areas, watching for anything suspicious and asking residents to call in if they see anything unusual.
A reward fund has been established for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for the fires.