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Authorities: Arrest made in arson fire at Florida mosque

Joseph Michael Schreiber, 32, faces a charge of arson with a hate crime enhancement. [Florida Department of Corrections via AP]
Joseph Michael Schreiber, 32, faces a charge of arson with a hate crime enhancement. [Florida Department of Corrections via AP]
Published Sep. 15, 2016

FORT PIERCE — A 32-year-old Florida man has been arrested and is facing a charge of arson and hate crime in a fire that heavily damaged a mosque that Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen attended, authorities announced Wednesday.

Joseph Michael Schreiber was arrested without incident Wednesday afternoon and was being interrogated by investigators looking into the fire set late Sunday at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, said Maj. David Thompson of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.

Thompson told a news conference that Schreiber was taken into custody on a street in Fort Pierce by authorities acting on tips from members of the community and aided by surveillance video taken from the mosque and elsewhere. He said the arson charge, coupled with a hate crime enhancement under Florida law, carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Thompson said detectives were still questioning Schreiber on Wednesday evening, and he didn't say if Schreiber had a lawyer.