Man Held in Connection to Fire That Destroyed 119-Year-Old Minnesota Synagogue

A man is being held in county jail in connection to the fire that burned down a Minnesota synagogue, police said on Sunday.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said his department is recommending a first degree arson charge for Matthew James Amiot, 36, who has been held without bail since his Friday arrest, NBC News reports.

Amiot was arrested on Friday afternoon and gave a statement to police, but has yet to be charged. The Duluth PD, along with federal ATF investigators, are still looking into the motivation of the fire. A complaint is expected to be filed next week.

“At this moment in time, there is no reason to believe that this is a bias or hate crime,” Tusken said in a Sunday press conference, adding the classification of the crime is subject to change as the investigation continues.

Duluth police and firefighters responded to a report of a fire early Monday morning and found Adas Israel Congregation, a 119-year-old Orthodox synagogue, in flames.

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