Suspected Arsonist May Have Held Grudge

Suspected arsonist may have held grudge

Police say a man suspected of an arson attack that killed dozens of people at an animation studio in Kyoto may have held a grudge against the firm.

Shinji Aoba allegedly started the fire at the Kyoto Animation studio on Thursday morning by pouring a flammable liquid at the entrance to the first floor and igniting it. The death toll has risen to 34.

Police say when officers apprehended the suspect, he shouted that he started the blaze because the studio stole material from his novel.

An eyewitness says the man yelled something about the studio stealing a plot from his novel, and that he also demanded to talk to the president of the company.

Police say the suspect has never worked for the company. They say they cannot confirm that he has ever published a novel.

Aoba was transferred on Saturday morning from a hospital in Kyoto City to another facility in Osaka Prefecture that specializes in treatment for burns.

Police have been joined by the president of Kyoto Animation, Hideaki Hatta, for inspections of the burnt-out building.

Hatta told reporters that he has never heard of the suspect, and that the suspect had not previously visited the studio.

He said he does not remember seeing any email to the company bearing the suspect's name.