With the flames of the particularly hellish election season dying down, a story that made national headlines a week before the election isn’t exactly what it appeared to be.
In early November, it was reported someone set fire to a black church in Mississippi and painted the words “Vote Trump” on the building.
Now, authorities say they have the arsonist in custody, and believe the idea that a Donald Trump supporter set flames to the building was a ruse to mislead the cops.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Greenville police arrested Andrew McClinton (pictured above), who is a member of the Hopewell Baptist Church.
Warren Strain of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation says the 45-year-old African-American man is charged with one count of first degree arson of a place of worship but is not being charged with a hate crime.
The investigation is ongoing and a motive has not been released, with city officials saying:
“We do not know if the federal government will pursue that as such because we do not have a motive.”
However, state insurance commissioner Mike Chaney said the crime may have been done to merely “appear politically motivated,” telling the AP:
“We do not believe it was politically motivated. There may have been some efforts to make it appear politically motivated.”
McClinton, who authorities say lives about six miles from the church, had served seven years in prison for armed robbery before his release in 2012.
He is currently in custody of the Washington County Detention Center awaiting his court appearance.