The police have in custody a suspect who confessed to starting the fire. His name is Mohamed Amine Lahlou. No word reported as yet on why he started the fire. The damage to the motel is estimated at $1.5 million.
I do not want to jump to conclusions but such arson would fit the profile for the massive wave of individual attacks some strategists are expecting Al Qaeda to adopt in the near future. A large number of first responders reported to the scene to assist in evacuating trapped quests and to stop the blaze. They would have been sitting targets for snipers in the area.
Update: Fox News in Austin are reporting that Lahlou is originally from Morocco and recently returned to Austin after being out of the country for eight years. “Authorities do not believe that the fire was an act of terrorism. They believe that Amin-Lahlou is emotionally distured and that the fire was a result of him acting out.” – Yea, now my money is on terrorism.