The crime gang that murdered drug dealer Warren Crossan tried to burn down the home he shared with his partner and young child.
The property on Glenfield Close in the village of Crumlin, Co Antrim, was attacked with petrol bombs during the early hours of last Tuesday morning.
It has been unoccupied since Crossan was gunned down outside his mother Ann's house on Rodney Parade in the St James area of west Belfast two weeks ago.
The 28-year-old was targeted by Dublin-based mobsters connected to notorious hitman Robbie Lawlor, who was murdered in the north of the city in April while collecting a drugs debt.
Crossan was accused of providing the killers' getaway car - an allegation he strongly denied. However, the dad-of-one's pleas fell on deaf ears, and he was shot six times in a revenge attack.
Detectives investigating Crossan's murder believe the two gunmen involved were lying in wait in a nearby house and were tipped off he had arrived at his mother's home.
They approached on foot, chasing him on to St Katherine's Road where they fired the fatal shots before escaping.
The fact that no getaway car was involved has led cops to conclude that local criminals with links to Dublin drugs gangs were involved.
The PSNI has also refused to rule out the possibility paramilitaries acted as guns for hire. In 2014 dissident republicans murdered Warren Crossan's father Tommy Crossan - a former Continuity IRA leader - at his west Belfast diesel supply business.
A security source said: "There were no cars burnt out in Belfast on the day Warren Crossan was murdered. The feeling is his killers were waiting on him in a safe house and that they may have returned there afterwards."
The Crossan family home on Rodney Parade is covered with CCTV cameras, but footage has yet to shed any clues on the gunmen's identities. The property's location, just a minute's drive from the M1 motorway, would allow for an easy escape.
Our source added: "Dissident republican involvement is another line of inquiry. There would be individuals in that world who would have no issue taking money from a Dublin drugs gang to kill him in revenge for Robbie Lawlor."
At the time of his death Crossan was on police bail accused of possessing £180,000 of cocaine with intent to supply after being arrested at the A1 near Sprucefield last November. He was also on the run from gardai having skipped bail for a series of alleged burglaries in Donegal.
Dublin hitman Robbie Lawlor - who was shot dead in Ardoyne three months ago - was believed to be in Belfast to collect cash from Crossan relating to the cocaine find. His associates believe Crossan set him up to be killed, rather than pay the £180,000 debt.
The day after Lawlor was gunned down two women were stopped by gardai with £50,000 travelling to Limerick, a city to which Crossan has strong family ties. Part of this cash is believed to have been payment to him for organising the murder.
Lawlor was known to have a bounty on his head for his role in the mutilation and dismembering of Drogheda teenager Keane Mulready-Woods in January.
The hatred the hitman's associates have for Warren Crossan - the man they accuse of setting him up - continues even after his murder.
Trying to burn down the house in Crumlin which he shared with his partner and young child is viewed as a step too far even by hardened criminals. Families are usually off-limits in that world of corrupt conventions.
Appealing for information about the arson bid, Detective Chief Inspector Michelle Shaw said: "Officers attended along with colleagues from Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, who extinguished the blaze. The house, which was unoccupied, sustained damage to its front door, front hall and exterior."