For six years, Benitez was not even on Nelson's radar. Then in 2007, an anonymous tip linked Benitez to the fire. Nelson interviewed him at Fort Hood in 2008 and Benitez gave information that placed him at the scene. A grand jury returned murder and arson indictments against Benitez earlier this year, Nelson said.
Benitez set the fire as an act of retaliation, Nelson said.
"The motive behind it was several days before the fire, Christopher was caught shoplifting.
He did a beer run for a couple of 12-packs and threw some in his backpack, ran out the front door. The store manager chased him down and captured him," Nelson said.
Benitez returned to the store and set fire to discarded packing boxes. He remained in Bell County Jail Monday without bail until he is transferred to Phoenix. Source: Killeen Daily Herald
Great job on this by the Arizona cops. Arson fires are notoriously hard to solve and have one of the lowest clearance rates of any UCR Part 1 crime.