A Washington man was arrested on Saturday on charges of setting fire to an Islamic center in Bellevue, Washington, authorities said.
Isaac Wayne Wilson, 37, was arrested after he was discovered in a parking lot near the Islamic Center of Eastside, where a fire broke out in the middle of the night.
Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett said Wilson was arrested on suspicion of second degree arson, and on an outstanding warrant for felony first degree malicious mischief in Seattle.
Police and fire agencies received several calls alerting them to a fire at the center around 2:45 a.m. Firefighters found heavy fire on the first and second floors, Fire Chief Mark Risen said, adding that firefighters quickly prevented the fire from spreading to other parts of the building.
There were no injuries, Risen said.
Imam Faizel of the Islamic Center of Eastside said he was shocked by the incident.
“As a community, yes we are heartbroken, we are sad that we have lost our place of worship. I have been the imam there for 16 years and never have we ever experienced anything like this,” he told a news conference.
The motive remains unknown, Mylett said, and the incident is under investigation.
The mosque solicited donations on its web site to rebuild, saying “Together we can build something better, bigger, and beautiful.”
(Reporting by Nathan Frandino; Editing by Chris Michaud)