Police in Florida are not buying a man's reason that he set fire to two churches as an offering to God. Now, Brody Allen Seiger, 33, has been charged with two counts of first-degree arson and remains at the Pinellas County Jail.
Seiger apparently burned the Seminole United Methodist Church and the Universal Harmony Church located at Seminole Boulevard at around midnight and the wee hours between Feb. 3 and 4. Firefighters were called to the scenes after receiving reports of a suspicious fire and they concluded that the two incidents were related.
Surveillance videos caught Sieger's face as he walked on the street towards the direction of the churches close to midnight on Feb. 3. Authorities posted the videos on social media, believing someone would be able to identify him since the images were clear.
The police received a tip on his identity a few weeks later, and they brought Seiger into the precinct on Feb. 27 for questioning. During their interrogation, the suspect admitted to the crime but also claimed he "set the fires for God."
Detectives said that Seiger first set the Universal Harmony Church on fire by breaking a window and throwing in a burning floor mat. He then did the same at the Seminole United Methodist Church but also used gasoline on the property.
Both fires caused minor damage. Fortunately, no one was in the churches during the incident, and it is unclear why Seiger targeted these places of worship apart from his claim of offering them to God.
Pinellas County, which has Clearwater as its county seat, is located in Florida and has over 916,000 residents. Its population consists of 36 percent religious devotees. Some 14.3 percent are Catholics, while 4.7 percent are Methodists. There are 4.8 percent of Christians who belong to other churches and 4 percent are Baptists.
In Florida, arson is a serious crime and offenders can be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison.