The Associated Press has reported that a 35-year-old black man from St. Louis man has been arrested and charged with arson in connection with two of the seven church fires that plagued that city last year. The fires were set between Oct. 8 and Oct. 22. Five predominantly black churches, one racially mixed church, and one mostly white church were hit.
David Lopez Jackson was charged Friday with arson in the fires at Ebenezer Lutheran Church and New Life Missionary Baptist Church, and is also the prime suspect in the remaining five church burnings.
There was much speculation at the time about the arsons being prosecuted as hate crimes, but according to the AP report, federal investigators have concluded that no hate crime occurred.