🚨 Religious leader shot to death earlier this year

🚨 Investigators still trying to find killer

🚨 Authorities believe it was not a bias crime

NEWARK – Authorities are offering tens of thousands of dollars to anyone who helps investigators find who shot an imam to death outside a mosque earlier this year.

Hassan Sharif was shot around 6:15 a.m. on Jan. 3 as he was about to go inside the Masjid Muhammad mosque for morning prayers, according to the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.

The 52-year-old imam was hospitalized in critical condition and died hours later.

As the investigation into Sharif's killing approaches six months, officials are making a renewed push to find his killer.

Imam Hassan Sharif
Imam Hassan Sharif (Masjid Muhammad-Newark)

The Essex County Crime Stoppers reward for information leading to the shooter's arrest has increased to $35,000, Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.

Confidential tips can be made by calling the Essex County Prosecutor's Office at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.

Authorities believe imam's killing was not a bias crime

In the hours after the imam's killing, Attorney General Matthew Platkin said that there was no evidence to suggest the shooting was motivated by bias.

READ ALSO: Another nightmare morning for NJ Transit commuters

Masjid Muhammad Mosque in Newark
Masjid Muhammad Mosque in Newark (Google Maps)

New Jersey 101.5 has sent an inquiry to the OAG to confirm there was no new evidence of a possible bias crime.

Investigators were looking into the possibility that a family member was responsible for the killing, NBC 4 New York reported. However, authorities have not said they are looking for a particular suspect and no description of the shooter had been released.

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