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No evidence of flammable substance at burned-down Miss. church

GREENVILLE, Miss. -- Tests show that the fire that destroyed a Greenville church was not started by a flammable substance, CBS affiliate WJTV reports. However, authorities are still investigating the incident as arson.

Greenville Fire Chief Ruben Brown said samples were sent off for analysis to see if a flammable substance was used to ignite the fire, but those test came back negative.

Authorities went to Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church after it was engulfed in flames Tuesday night November 1. The words “Vote Trump” were spray painted on the side of the building.

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Hopewell Baptist Church is damaged by fire and graffiti in Greenville, Mississippi, U.S., November 2, 2016.     Courtesy Angie Quezada/Delta Daily News via REUTERS

Chief Brown said the fire was intentionally set. However, it appears no accelerate was used to start it.

Investigators believe the fire may have been started using direct flame contact, for example, paper, clothing, or some other item.

Greenville is a Mississippi River port city of about 32,100 people, and about 78 percent of its residents are African-American.

The FBI opened a civil-rights investigation into the fire.

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