St. Louis, Missouri – Police in St. Louis have arrested a man suspected in numerous church arson fires involving what the media have termed “predominantly black churches.”
The police have linked the suspect, David Lopez Jackson, to at least two of the ten fires tthe community has experienced in the past year. The two fires he is being accused of setting include the New Life Missionary Baptist Church and the Ebenezer Lutheran Church.
Several agencies, including the FBI, the ATF, and the St. Louis PD were involved in the investigations. While arson is usually a local matter, we suspect the recent racial unrest near St. Louis required the FBI and ATF to become involved on the assumption the crimes were hate crimes.
According to the police department, a video captured Jackson’s vehicle on the scene of New Life Missionary Baptist Church. It is unknown if the video cameras were installed at the church or on a nearby home or business.
When the license plates were traced, police determined the vehicle belonged to Jackson and that it was usually under his sole control and used by him alone.
A search of the vehicle revealed a gasoline can, as well as an empty thermos that smelled of gasoline. Jackson was placed under arrest and is being held on $75,000 bond.