After hours of confusion and misreporting as police waited for fire to dissipate and temperatures to cool, authorities confirmed that a charred body was found in the smoldering cabin where a suspect believed to be Christopher Jordan Dorner, the ex-LAPD officer who allegedly killed four people over a weeklong campaign of terror against his former employers, exchanged fire with police over several hours yesterday. A forensics team will conclusively identify the remains, which are assumed to be Dorner's.
Still a mystery: how did the fire that consumed the cabin start? Most accounts shrug their shoulders—"It was unclear how the fire at the cabin began," The New York Times writes—but The Guardian's Paul Owen has marshalled a pile of circumstantial evidence that the San Bernadino County sheriff's department may have started it, including a purported recording of a police scanner in which police can be heard seeming to discuss a plan to burn Dorner out:
All right, Steve, we're gonna go, er, we're gonna go forward with the plan, with, er, with the burn. We want it, er, like we talked about. [...] Seven burners [Update: we're told these refer to tear gas canisters] deployed and we have a fire.
Here's the alleged recording, which journalist Max Blumenthal—who was listening to the scanner and live-tweeting at the time—says is legitimate:
Hard to decipher on San Bernadino Sheriff scanner now: "We're gonna go ahead w/the plan w/the burner... Like we talked about."— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 12, 2013
There's also this moment from yesterday's coverage on KCAL TV (note: the clip is from much earlier in the day, well before the police scanner was recorded), in which muffled voices can be heard yelling something that sounds like "We're going to burn him out," and "Burn this motherfucker!"
LAPD referred Owen's questions to the San Bernadino County sheriff's department, which didn't respond. They're going to want to issue a statement soon: conspiracy theorists and professional skeptics are already claiming that the LAPD "pulled a Waco" on Dorner, and it's only going to get worse from here.