A driver tried to burn down a Catholic church in Florida after ramming his vehicle into the building's lobby as worshipers were gathering for Mass. The suspect was arrested after a high-speed chase.
The man rammed his minivan through the front doors of the Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Ocala, Florida on Saturday morning, local media reported, citing police. The driver then got out and threw some kind of incendiary device, starting a fire inside the church lobby. He fled the scene in his vehicle, but was pursued by police in a high-speed chase before being stopped and arrested.
The name of the suspect has not yet been released and his motive remains unclear.
Though the church was packed with people preparing for Mass at the time of the attack, firefighters quickly arrived on site and put out the flames. No serious injuries were reported.
Photos from the scene show extensive damage done to the church's interior.
Following the incident, the Pasco Sheriff's Office announced extra patrols at places of worship "out of an abundance of caution."
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Archbp. Lefebvre 1980