Comet Ping Pong, the pizza parlor at the center of the 2016 election’s bizarre “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, can’t catch a break. An unidentified suspect broke into the restaurant on Wednesday and intentionally set fires, D.C. police said.
According to the Washington Post, arson investigators found burned matches on the floor below curtains in a backroom of the restaurant as well as an open bottle of lighter fluid on a table. The curtains caught fire but the flames were extinguished by staff before the fire spread further.
On Friday, the Washington D.C. Arson Explosives Task Force released a photo of the suspect who appears to be a male between 25 and 30 years-old with a mustache and beard and blonde hair, wearing a varsity-style jacket and jeans.
In 2016, another man, Edgar Maddison Welch, entered the restaurant armed with an assault rifle because he believed the Pizzagate conspiracy theories claiming it was a hub for child sex trafficking. Welch pleaded guilty to assault and a weapons charge in 2017 and received a four year prison sentence.
Comet owner James Alefantis said he didn’t have reason to believe the fire was linked to the conspiracy theories but said he still receives prank calls, which he reports to the police.