- The Islamic Center of Fort Pierce was set on fire just after midnight Monday morning.
- The mosque is the same one that Pulse nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen, had visited regularly before his killing spree that took the lives of 49 people.
- Police are looking for a white or Hispanic male driving a Harly Davidson who might have burnt himself while starting the fire.
- The man’s motives are still unknown.
The Islamic Center of Fort Pierce was set on fire early Monday morning. The mosque is the same one where Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had prayed regularly before he went on his killing spree that ended the lives of 49 people in Orlando.
The blaze was set just after midnight and no one was inside the mosque at the time. Police and firefighters responded after two drivers called 911 notifying them of flames.
The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on Monday, “Surveillance footage from cameras on the building revealed that a white or Hispanic male arrived on motorcycle at approximately 11:38 p.m. In the video, it appears he is carrying paper and a bottle of some type of liquid. The male approaches the northeast side of the building and a flash is seen, presumably when the fire ignited. The male is then seen running from the building.”
Police are now searching for the man who was said to be riding a Harley Davidson with saddlebags and they believe that the man might have burnt himself while setting the fire.
Firefighters were able to quickly put out the blaze and structure of the building seems to be intact. However, it is still unclear what shape the interior is in or when they expect people to be let back in.
While police deeply concern themselves with any fire at a place of worship, this event was especially worrying given the 9/11 anniversary, which fell this year on the day before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
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With so many possible motives for the fire, we will have to wait until the suspect is in custody to find out what his exact reasons were.