A third victim of the Mount Carmel inferno has been identified, authorities said Tuesday.
However, the victim’s name won’t be released until relatives are notified.
Justice of the Peace David Pareya said efforts are continuing to bring out the four or more bodies still inside a cinder-block building that survived the April 19 fire, which is believed to have killed cult leader Vernon Howell, also known as David Koresh, and 85 followers.
“We had hoped to have the bodies out this morning, but there was more debris than we had anticipated,” Pareya said.
Heat and a stifling odor complicated the process of finding victims, Pareya said. Workers are finding it difficult to spend more than 15 minutes at a time inside the bunker.
“You can see some of the remains that are in there,” Pareya said. “We’re wearing protective clothing, and we’re doing some things to take care of the odor. But, like I said, you go in and you go out.”
Department of Public Safety spokesman Mike Cox said arson investigators may finish up their work by the afternoon.
Arson investigators believe the fire that destroyed Mount Carmel, the Branch Davidians’ compound 10 miles east of Waco, was deliberately set, according to Paul Gray, assistant chief investigator for the Houston Fire Department.
Surviving cult members accuse the FBI of starting the fire.
But Gray said the fire was set in “at least two separate locations at approximately the same time.”
The report by Gray and three other arson investigators will be given to Attorney General Janet Reno and DPS officials, Cox said.
A forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution is assisting authorities in “digging through the debris,” Pareya said.
Dr. Douglas Ubelaker is frequently called on by the FBI to help identify crime victims by examining skeletal material to determine age, gender and cause of death, a Smithsonian spokeswoman said.
Almost a fourth of the Branch Davidians who died in the fire have been found inside or near the cinder-block building. But Pareya said he’s not ready to conclude that they sought shelter there from the fire.