A memorial to 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher, as well as her family's car, were set on fire early Friday morning. The little girl's body was found under a tarp on July 1, leading to an investigation. Now police are looking for an arsonist as well, but do not suspect any family members of setting the memorial or vehicle on fire.
"It's kind of hard to say what people's intent was in this situation," Saginaw police spokesman Officer Damon Ing told Miami News Day. "It's just very disheartening that someone would do this to the family."
The arson took place just outside the family's home, leading them to believe they could be targets.
"It's very frightening," Alanna's mother, Laura, added. "Fortunately a neighbor had come over to wake us. We'd been asleep upstairs."
"It's very disheartening," Ing told NBC News. "In the fact, I know that investigators are spending a lot of time in the Alanna Gallagher case, and for whatever reason, someone intentionally set this fire. The family is still distraught from the loss of their child, and of course, now they have to deal with this. It's very disturbing."
Alanna's body was found under a tarp, bound with duct tape, in the middle of an intersection in Saginaw, Texas. Police have released footage of two black cars in the area at the time of Alanna's death. They are hoping that someone will recognize the vehicles and come forward with crucial information.
Police have not ruled out Alanna's own family as suspects and removed items from the family's home earlier. Alanna's situation is unique, as her mother is in a polyamorous relationship with Karl Gallagher and Miles McDaniel. Karl is Alanna's biological father, but the three adults consider themselves to all be her parents.
"I know that the odds are high that it's a family member in this sort of situation," McDaniel told World News Views. "I can tell you that anyone that knows our family would know better."
The FBI has offered a reward of $10,000 for information that leads to Alanna's killer.