A man was taken into custody in New York on Wednesday night after it appears that he intended to light St. Patrick's Cathedral on fire. He was arrested carrying two canisters of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid, and two butane lighters, reported Fox.
The 37-year-old man, whose identity will be released once he is formally charged, was stopped by a cathedral security officer. He was spotting spilling gasoline on the floor.
Cathedral security notified two Critical Response Command (CRC) officers outside the cathedral. When approached, the man was cooperative but evasive.
He offered police inconsistent answers about why he was carrying gas. He told officers that he was “cutting through the cathedral to get to Madison Avenue” and that "his car ran out of gas," police said.
When police checked the man's minivan, it's gas tank wasn't empty. The man was taken into custody and brought to the Midtown North Station House.
Police have already connected the incident to the Notre Dame Cathedral fire, which happened on Monday.
“I think, if added to that the events at the iconic location of Notre Dame and all of the publicity around that, I think this is an indicator of something that would be very suspicious,” John Miller, deputy commissioner of intelligence & counterterrorism of the NYPD, said.
The FBI is assisting in the investigation. Officials said a "heavy police presence" was in the area of the church, which is located on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan.