GLENDALE (CBSLA.com) — Glendale police have announced the arrest of a man wanted in setting a fire at a church.
Police arrested Donald Walter Maitz, 51, of San Pedro on Sunday.
Authorities said Maitz set the fire at the Faith Center Church in the 1600 block of South Glendale Avenue in Glendale around midnight July 6.
Surveillance video allegedly captured Maitz tossing a Molotov cocktail onto church property.
CBS 2’s Tom Wait said the flames lit up the night sky.
An officer patrolling the area saw the fire and was able to extinguish it quickly. Meanwhile, the suspect fled.
During an investigation, it was determined the suspect left behind a bag containing other Molotov cocktails.
Officials believe the police officer thwarted what was going to be a much bigger fire.
Police connected DNA from the other incendiary devices and named Maitz as the alleged culprit.
A further investigation revealed Maitz was a former church member who had been allegedly banned due to unspecified behavior. Officials believe the motive was revenge on church administration and not a hate crime directed at the church or religion.
The church is led by Melissa Scott, the widow of Gene Scott, the famous LA televangelist.
Maitz was arrested in San Pedro. He has been charged with one count of arson and one count for the use of a destructive device.
His bail was set at $500,000.