A man accused of setting fire to a Pahrump church early Friday is in custody, Nye County officials said.
About 1 a.m., responding officers found 63-year-old Frank Eugene Casey, who was watching the fire from inside a parked vehicle across from Trinity Assembly of God, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office said.
Arson investigators also responded to the scene after evidence suggested the fire was intentionally set to the 750 S. Big Five Road church.
In a statement, the Sheriff’s Office said Casey was intoxicated and smelled of smoke when they found him. He initially was arrested on a DUI charge. While in custody, officials said, Casey admitted he started the fire to the church. A spokesman said the motive is unclear.
Casey told investigators he first used spray paint as an accelerator to set fire to an exterior wall but moved on to a storage utility room when the wall failed to ignite. The entire interior of the room was engulfed in flames, officials said.
The suspect faces one count of first-degree arson and one count of damage to property used for the purpose of religion.
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