FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say they have made an arrest in the arson fire that heavily damaged the Florida mosque Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen occasionally attended.
St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office Maj. David Thompson announced at a news conference that 32-year-old Joseph Michael Schreiber had been arrested without incident Wednesday afternoon. Thompson says the man faces an arson charge with Florida’s hate crime enhancement, adding that could bring up to 30 years in prison in event of a conviction.
Thompson said a search warrant was executed at Schreiber’s home, where investigators reported finding evidence linked to the arson, as well as anti-Islamic social media posts.
The Islamic Center of Fort Pierce sustained extensive damage in a fire set late Sunday on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The blaze also coincided with the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. No one was injured. The fire burned a 10-by-10-foot hole in the roof at the back of the mosque’s main building and blackened its eaves with soot.
It wasn’t immediately known if Schreiber had an attorney.