The 13-metre Christmas goat in Gävle, eastern Sweden, was torched late on Wednesday night last week. On Thursday, an anonymous confession popped up on the controversial Swedish internet forum Flashback.
By Saturday, a picture of four legs also appeared on the site, each with a cartoon tattoo of the flaming goat together with the time and date that the straw creature was set alight.
“This kind of tattoo isn’t done by just anyone,” said Mikael Hedström of the Gävle police to the Expressen newspaper.
“But even if we find out who it is, it’s no proof.”
The police are now working to identify the person responsible for posting the messages online.
“Then we have to tie them to the crime scene. The tattoo is not enough,” Hedström told the paper.
The Flashback forum postings are not the first clues police have had.
Reports came on Thursday of four men who changed clothes in a restaurant toilet after the goat was burned, with witnesses claiming the men smelled of smoke.
The perpetrators face a risk of prison or fines for aggravated damages or arson. According to Hedström, a fine of up to 200,000 kronor ($30,300) would be reasonable.
Gävle first erected the straw sculpture in 1966, meaning this year was the goat’s 46th birthday. It has been burnt to the ground for the majority of the past 46 years.