SAN GABRIEL (KABC) -- A fire tore through the ceiling of the Mission San Gabriel back in July 2020, leaving the church in shambles.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's office is still looking for answers and they're investigating it as arson.
"Everything that was inside of the mission was touched one way or another, whether it was soot and smoke damage or water damage," said Terri Huerta, Director of Missions Development.
Yet, the fire did not reach the altar which was handcrafted in Mexico City and brought to the mission sometime in the 1790s.
The Mission San Gabriel is about 250 years old, founded in 1771. It serves the catholic community in San Gabriel. Its original location was near the city of Montebello.
"In May of 1775, the mission was moved from its original location to this site here," said Huerta said.
Officials said community members are eager to see the doors open again.
"I think there's been a lot of curiosity because a lot of the work has been done behind closed doors," said Mission San Gabriel's Pastor Father John Molyneux.
Since that devastating fire, crews have been working to renovate and restore the church. But even though renovations are not complete, they will open the doors Saturday for a mass to celebrate the closing of the jubilee year.
Officials say they are hoping to reopen the mission to the public in December just in time for Christmas.
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