US investigators suspect arson in Texas church fire

JEFF TURNER

An arson inspector in the US said one person is in custody following a fire that heavily a church building Friday evening.

A news release from the Amarillo Fire Department says the fire was reported around 10:30 p.m. at the Community of Christ Church.  The building was heavily involved with fire when the first crew arrived and they called for seven additional fire units. Firefighters were unable to enter the building because of the severity of the fire.

All nearby homes and structures were spared.

Authorities have identified the suspect as Ernesto Pena, 24, of Amarillo. A motive has not been announced.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Texas media outlets report the temperature in Amarillo at the time of the fire was 18°F/-7°C.  It is not uncommon for homeless people to start fires in buildings in an attempt to stay warm. We mention this because it is likely the motive is not anti-Christian bigotry. 

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