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Police Charge Man With Arson At Mosque Attended By Orlando Gunman

Days after the Florida mosque that had been attended by the Orlando Pulse nightclub gunman was set on fire, the sheriff's department of St. Lucie County says it has arrested Joseph Michael Schreiber, 32. Officers cited tips from the public and Schreiber owning a motorcycle like one seen on surveillance video.

"An examination of Schreiber's social media account also shows multiple anti-Islamic posts and comments," Major David Thompson of the sheriff's office says.

As Camila reported for the Two-Way earlier this week, the fire hit the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce one night after the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and during Eid al-Adha, a major Muslim holiday.

"Under Florida law, Schreiber will be charged with arson and Florida's hate crime enhancement will also be applied to the charge," Jill Roberts of member station WQCS in Fort Pierce reports for our Newscast unit. "That brings the crime to a first degree felony. The investigation continues. The FBI and ATF are also considering federal charges."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.