The suspect is black.
At least seven churches were set ablaze since Oct. 8, 2015. All are in the St. Louis, Mo. area and nearly all are in a black neighborhood.
Damage to most of the churches was minimal.
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Police have made an arrest in connection with a two-week string of church arsons, most of which occurred at places of worship in black neighbourhoods, the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch has learned. The suspect is a black man in his 30s, according to a police source.
Investigators are expected to seek criminal charges against him Friday.
The string of fires, many of which did minimal damage, drew attention of local and federal investigators. The locations drew speculation of whether it was a hate crime.
The targeted structures were:
—Oct. 8: Bethel Nondenominational Church in Jennings, near the St. Louis city limit
—Oct. 10: New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in Jennings
—Oct. 14: St. Augustine Catholic Church in St. Louis
—Oct. 15: New Testament Church of Christ in St. Louis, less than four blocks from St. Augustine
—Oct. 17: New Life Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis
—Oct. 18: Ebenezer Lutheran Church in St. Louis
—Oct. 22: Shrine of St. Joseph in St. Louis
The final fire, at the historic shrine downtown, appeared to break the arsonist’s geographical pattern.
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