VICTORIA -- The Campbell River RCMP say they are continuing to investigate after a 20-year-old unsheltered man was seemingly set on fire in the community while sleeping outside Tuesday.

Police say that they are following up on every lead “to its fullest extent.” However, Mounties say that considerable resources are going towards pursuing unfounded tips that have been shared on social media.

“Despite warnings to the public to avoid rumour and conjecture on social media about the case, stories continue to become bigger and bigger,” said Const. Maury Tyre of the Campbell River RCMP in a release Friday.

“It's like the telephone game you can play as a kid,” he said. “Somebody whispers into someone's ear that they have a sandwich and after it goes through five people, the story is about a Gremlin baking bread. The only consistency is there's bread in both stories.”

Mounties are asking that people contact the Campbell River RCMP detachment at 250-286-6221 if they believe they have credible information.

Police say the investigation into this “truly an egregious offence” began on Wednesday after local fishermen found a Campbell River man suffering from severe burns on his back at the Brick store parking lot around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

RCMP major crimes and forensic identification units believe the man was deliberately set on fire while sleeping on an island under a highway overpass bridge sometime in the early morning.

Police say that it appears some of the man’ possessions had also been stolen from the area.

“Nobody, no matter what their situation in life, deserves to be treated in such a horrendous manner,” said Tyre in a statement Wednesday.

“We at the Campbell River RCMP intend to use our resources to locate the individual/individuals responsible for this incident and hold them legally accountable,” he said. “We truly wish this young man a speedy recovery.”