Police Arrest Suspect In Minnesota Synagogue Blaze

By David Matthews
Posted on 09/14/19 | News Source: New York Daily News

Minnesota police made an arrest Friday in connection with a fire that destroyed Adas Israel Synagogue in Duluth earlier this week.

Matthew James Amiot, 36, was booked on a first-degree arson charge Friday and is in custody at the St. Louis County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

The Star Tribune reported that no one else was arrested on Friday and that the suspect had nearly a dozen misdemeanor convictions for trespassing, burglary and theft.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said earlier this week other places of worship were not at risk.

The fire started around 2 a.m. Monday and one firefighter was injured in the blaze that took several hours to extinguish.

While the building was left in ruins, firefighters were able to rescue several religious artifacts from the building, including eight of the congregation’s 14 Torah scrolls.

Adas Israel is one of two synagogues in Duluth. It is an Orthodox/high conservative congregation with 75 members.

A press conference that was originally scheduled for Saturday morning was moved to Sunday morning out of respect to those observing the Sabbath.