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DALLAS (1080 KRLD)Dallas Attorney Ira Tobolowsky was alive when fire broke out in his north Dallas garage May 13. The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office has released the cause and manner of death of the well-known lawyer.

The office says the cause was “Thermal burns and smoke inhalation in association with blunt force trauma.” The manner confirms what Dallas police had suspected:  Homicide.

“Technically, he was still alive at the time of the fire.” said forensic pathologist Doctor Amy Gruszecki of USA Forensics. “It does not necessarily mean he was conscious, but he was still alive. He was breathing enough to have smoke inhalation injury.”

Tobolowsky was involved in a trial when the fire broke out on a clear Friday morning in May. Firefighters had kept reporters and onlookers back, treating the home near Medical City Hospital like a crime scene.  “There’s some chemicals in the area, gasoline, that sort of thing.  It looked like it may have flashed in there,” said Dallas Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Michael Price at the time. But authorities were tight-lipped about other details.

The mention of thermal burns and blunt force trauma adds more intrigue. However, the official report has not been released, making it impossible to tell what happened. Dallas police have been investigating the death as a homicide since June. There have been no arrests and no suspect has been named.

On June 23rd, family members announced a huge reward for information that leads to an arrest. $20,000 was added to the $5,000 already in play. Yet it’s not clear that the huge pot has brought any new information. The family was concerned at the time that wary tipsters may be reluctant to come forward.

“There’s also legitimate fear by the community that something this heinous could happen to such a good person that, God forbid, something happens to them or their family if they come forward.” said Michael Tobolowsky, son of the victim. Yet there was hope money will eventually coax someone into talking.

“We kind of feel like someone out there knows something and all we’re hoping for is that this reward will incentivize someone to come forward and help us figure out who did this and get justice.”

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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