What started huge L.A. fire? 2 dozen arson investigators on the job

20-person ATF arson team to investigate Monday's #DTLAfire

More than 20 members of a federal team that handles arson investigations will “spare no expense” in rooting out the cause of Monday’s massive fire in downtown Los Angeles, an ATF official said.

Carlos Canino with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said 25 or 26 members of its national response team will “leave no stone unturned” in finding what started the blaze.

Monday's fire consumed the 1.3 million-square-foot Da Vinci residential complex that was being built at Temple Street and Fremont Avenue downtown.

Speaking at a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Canino said that, on a scale of 1 to 10, the size of the investigation site was a “7 or 8.”

The fire started in the middle of the night and engulfed the structure in flames. The intense heat melted nearby freeway signs and blew out windows in neighboring buildings.

Los Angeles firefighters tapped the ATF’s team because of the fire’s size, the amount of damage it caused, and the complexity of the investigation.

The team that arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday night is “one of the best in the world,” Canino said.

Even an upcoming storm expected to bring rain to L.A. beginning Thursday night will not stop investigators, he said. Lightning is one of the only reasons that the team would pause, he said.

Twitter: @JosephSerna, @smasunaga

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