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Arsonist May Have Been Reacting to Mother's Pending Deportation

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The man accused of setting fires around L.A. over the past week has been identified as Harry Burkhart, 24, and police have speculated that he might have been acting out over his mother's pending deportation, reports KTLA.

Burkhart, a German national, was spotted early Monday morning by a reserve L.A. County Sheriff's deputy. His car matched the description of a vehicle thought to be involved with the fires, and Burkhart looked like the person seen on surveillance tape leaving a car fire at Hollywood and Highland. Burkhart was detained, questioned, and ultimately charged.

But Burkhart was on law enforcement officials' radars already, says the LA Times, after he went on an anti-American rant at a recent deportation hearing for his mother. This past Sunday night, adds KTLA, a neighbor reported that he was begging for help after his mother was taken by authorities.

At the time of his arrest, Burkhart told officers, "I hate America," reports City News Service.

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Burkhart has one charge of arson against him so far, but more are expected. In the meantime, officials are still investigating the case on the assumption that Burkhart wasn't acting alone.