FAKE HATE: Devout Muslim Attendee Charged with Torching Houston Mosque
A Houston mosque was torched on Christmas Day.
On Tuesday a devout Muslim attendee was charged with setting the blaze.
A Houston man has been arrested in connection with a suspected arson at a mosque on Christmas Day.
A spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that the man was arrested early Wednesday, sometime after midnight, and appeared in court 7 a.m. Wednesday.
The suspect, Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, of Houston, appeared in court at 7 a.m., spokeswoman Nicole Strong said.
According to a charging instrument released by the Harris County District Clerk, Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week.
Moore told investgiators had been at the mosque earlier on Dec. 25 to pray, and had left at about 2 p.m. to go home. Moore told investigators he was the last person to leave the mosque and saw no smoke or other signs of fire when he left. He had returned to the scene after hearing about the fire from a friend.
Using surveillance video from multiple businesses nearby, investigators were able to identify Moore, according to records. A search warrant of his home was conducted, in which investigators recovered a backpack and clothing that seemingly matched that which was seen in surveillance footage, as well as one half of a two-pack of charcoal lighter fluid bottles that seemed to match another lighter fluid bottle found inside the mosque.
Bond for Moore has been set at $100,000.