Authorities charged Andrew McClinton, 45, of Leland, Mississippi, with first-degree arson of a place of worship. A motive has not been released in the case.
There were no reported injuries in the incident, which took place just a few days before the Nov. 8 election. The majority of the damage was to the main sanctuary of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville. The words “Vote Trump” were also spray-painted along the side of the building.
“There may have been some efforts to make it appear politically motivated,” Chaney said.
Police released a photo of McClinton on Wednesday:
Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons said last month that the incident was “an attack on the black church and the black community.” A GoFundMe page was set up to raise money to repair the church amid national outcry, and secured more than $200,000 in two days.