BALTIMORE -- Papa's Palace, a now burned out West Baltimore restaurant, is one of more than 200 businesses damaged in the riots. Dave Cheplak of the ATF in Baltimore says what happened here and at a liquor store nearby, where one person was injured, goes beyond arson -- it could be attempted murder.
"We believe individuals purposely set these fires with the intent of harming people who were inside," said Cheplak. "That was certainly a possibility."
At Papa's, the chef was upstairs when looters set the building on fire. Essem el Ghannam, one of the owners, was asked how many people damaged his store.
"I've seen the videos," he said. "Too many people. A mob of people."
In all, the ATF is investigating seven sites around Baltimore for arson, including a senior center that was under construction.
The investigation into the fires could take weeks, but a discussion about the potential root cause of the violence has already begun. President Obama addressed that today.
"People tweet outrage, and the TV cameras come, and they focus more on somebody setting fire to something or turning over a car than the peaceful protests and the thoughtful discussions that are taking place," Obama said.
Here in Baltimore, the talk is about rebuilding. El Ghannam is staying even though this is the second time his restaurant has been burned down.