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Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) -- An electrical failure that set ablaze a 15-foot Christmas tree caused a mansion fire in Annapolis, Maryland, earlier this month that killed six people, authorities announced Wednesday.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents also concluded that the fire, which started in the home's great room, was an accident.

"While the explanation that has been shared with us today does not bring solace, it does start us down the long road to acceptance," read a statement issued Wednesday by the Boone and Pyle families.

It took almost a week for six bodies to be found in the burned-down mansion. All those who were thought to be inside are believed to be accounted for, according to fire department officials.

The 16,000-square-foot mansion was owned by tech executive Don Pyle and his wife Sandra.

According to relatives, the Pyles had four of their grandchildren -- Alexis (Lexi) Boone, 8; Kaitlyn (Katie) Boone, 7; Charlotte Boone, 8; and Wesley (Wes) Boone, 6 -– over at the time of the four-alarm fire. All six died in the blaze.

Crews started going through the wreckage last Wednesday, according to ABC affiliate WJLA, a process that ATF investigators said could take weeks.

The house was "built more like a commercial structure," Anne Arundel County Fire Capt. Russ Davies told reporters, so searching is a "time-consuming process."

Initially the fire had been handled as a criminal investigation.

Relatives described the Pyles as loving grandparents nicknamed “Pop-Pop” and “Dee-Dee.” The night before the blaze, Don and Sandra treated their four grandchildren to a special outing to Medieval Times, according to a family spokeswoman -– even taking them to Target beforehand to pick up costumes for the occasion.

Family members of the victims thanked well-wishers last week in a statement. Attributed to "the Boone and Pyle families," it said in part, “We wish to express our gratitude and appreciation for the love and support being shared with us during this tragic event. We are blessed that so many family, friends, and neighbors have come together for us in our time of need."

“Life is fragile," the statement concluded. "Make time today to embrace your loved ones."

Authorities said at Wednesday's news conference that they would conduct additional tests and analysis.


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Tomislav Zivkovic/iStock/Thinkstock(FERNDALE, Calif.) -- The United States Geological Survey reported a magnitude 5.7 earthquake in northern California on Wednesday afternoon.

The quake was centered just offshore, about 25 miles southwest of Ferndale, says the USGS. The tremor was focused about 10 miles underground.

According to the Northern California Earthquake Data Center, there is a 40-percent likelihood of an aftershock magnitude five or larger in the next seven days. Between 20 and 50 smaller aftershocks are expected in that same time period.


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KGO-TV(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The FBI and San Francisco Police are on the hunt for three thieves who rammed their SUV into the lobby of the Wells Fargo Museum in San Francisco on Tuesday morning.

Surveillance photos show that the SUV that crashed into the windows of the building carried just the driver and two other suspects appeared from another car, a Sedan, that was parked alongside the curb, authorities said.

The men, who were wearing ski masks, stole gold nuggets, ABC's San Francisco affiliate KGO-TV reported.

The museum on Montgomery Street is the site of the first Wells Fargo that opened in 1852.

The property features an "impressive display of gold dust and ore from California's Gold Country and a special collection of Gold Rush letters carried by hundreds of express companies."

One suspect restrained a guard after holding a pistol to the guard’s head, FBI spokesman Brian Weber said, though details of how he was restrained are being withheld.

Wearing ski masks and black gloves, the suspects were described as about six feet tall, according to authorities.

In view from the glass exterior of the building was a Wells Fargo stagecoach that "carried passengers and gold across the western plains."

Police were alerted about the robbery at 2:26 a.m. Tuesday.

The men took off in a sedan and left the SUV inside the bank, police said.

Authorities were looking for three men in a white Ford Taurus who were last seen heading eastbound across the Bay Bridge, according to KGO's report.

Wells Fargo spokeswoman Diana Rodriguez told ABC News on Tuesday that the bank is cooperating with the San Francisco Police Department's investigation.

"We’re disturbed this happened to the Wells Fargo History Museum, but are grateful no team member was harmed," she said in a statement to ABC News. "Additionally, the historic stagecoaches on site were not damaged. Rest assured, the museum will reopen, so it can continue to serve the thousands of visitors and Bay Area residents who visit it each year."


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Center Township Police(PITTSBURGH) -- A police cruiser's dash-cam caught a handcuffed woman's alleged 10-mile high-speed drive outside Pittsburgh after she crawled through an opening in the police car's partition and took control of the wheel, police said.

Cops chased 27-year-old Roxanne Rimer, who drove down Route 51 as fast as 100 mph with her hands cuffed behind her back, Center Township Police Chief Barry Kramer told ABC News Wednesday.

"She probably was able to reach her cuffed hands to the side of her hip and drive," Kramer said. "I'm not completely sure though because there was no camera that captured the inside of the car. [Rimer] was very thin, long-armed and lanky, so it's possible she was flexible enough to reach over the side of her hip and grab the wheel."

The incident, which happened earlier this month, occurred when Rimer was originally arrested after trying to run away from security at Kohl's for allegedly stealing earrings, Kramer said. She fled into her grandfather's car in the parking lot, he said, and her grandfather, who was driving, was unaware of what happened moments before.

When police stopped the car, police asked Rimer to step out and she was handcuffed after a confrontation, Kramer said.

"She gave a fake name and told police she was a juvenile," Kramer said. "After being handcuffed and put in the rear seat [of the patrol car], police went to check her grandfather's car. It was during this time that Rimer somehow crawled through a roughly 12.25-inch by 11.5-inch window in the plexiglass partition."

The dash-cam video shows officers running toward the car after Rimer allegedly got control of the vehicle. The vehicle is then seen ramming into her grandfather's car with her grandfather still in it and almost hitting two police officers before zooming down the road.

"Police chased her for most of her 10-mile drive, but they backed off towards the end because she was going so fast," Kramer said.

The video shows the patrol car weaving between cars at high speeds. At one point, it seems Rimer has trouble getting around a bend in the road. And then a woman's voice can be heard in the video, allegedly Rimer's, calling out to a passerby, saying, "Hello! Can you help me? Can you help me drive, please?"

Rimer later stops the patrol car and gets out, police said.

"At this point in the video, you can see the suspect abandon the car, still handcuffed, and run into the woods," Kramer said. "She went into a nearby home, but they told her to get away. Shortly after, one driver saw her walking in handcuffs. He picked her up and brought her to the station, but she jumped out and fled again. Another driver picked her up, thinking she just needed help, but then told her to get out of the car after they saw the handcuffs."

Police finally caught her walking on a street in Aliquippa, a town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, and she was placed in jail, Kramer said.

Rimer is facing multiple charges, including aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, fleeing and eluding police and robbery.

The trial will likely be held sometime in May, Kramer told ABC News.

Rimer is currently being held at Beaver County Jail, according to her attorney, Steven Valsamidis.

Valsamidis told ABC News he believes many of the charges fit the video, but a portion involving aggravated assault does not.

"Aggravated assault means she intended or did cause serious bodily injury," he said. "But she didn't seriously injure or intend to seriously injure anyone. She just wanted to escape the situation."

"Thank God nobody was killed because that video is extraordinary," Valsamidis added.


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mjbs/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Boston Police have released photographs of a man who shoveled the iconic finish line of the Boston Marathon route on Boylston Street during Tuesday's raging blizzard.

Using the hashtag #WhoShoveledTheFinishLine, Boston Police asked the public to help solve the mystery of the hardy soul.

The finish line has special significance as the site of the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three people on April 15, 2013.


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