ST. PAUL, Minn.- On Monday, the man allegedly behind Saturday’s fire at the St. Paul Cathedral, Dominic Segura, was charged in the Ramsey County court.
Alpha News and several other sources reported that the incident originally started off as a bomb threat, after Segura allegedly stuffed burned paper in the air vents at the church. It has now been confirmed that there was no bomb present. Many parishioners reported that Segura was mumbling to himself and acting strangely. However, two people were required to restrain Segura, as witnesses say he threatened to shoot people.
Police found among Segura’s possessions a butane lighter, a bottle of liquid, an orange key fob, and a bag filled with books which were wrapped with a wire connected to a computer hard drive. It was this ‘contraption’ that people thought was the bomb. The bomb squad evacuated the building as it investigated the ‘contraption.’
In an interview with the police, as reported by the Pioneer Press, Segura said he had come to the church to pray and that the wires were meant to bind the books together. He said he was trying to light the candles in the church, his reason for bringing the lighter.
Segura is not a first time offender. Segura has previously been charged with arson, theft and committing threats of violence. Police have not reported whether or not Segura’s actions were premeditated. Segura was charged with one count of first-degree attempted arson and a second count of making threats of violence. Both counts are felonies.
A number of church fires have occurred around Minnesota since 2012, 13 of which have been intentionally started. This includes fires that were set at an 118 year old St. Mary’s Catholic church in Melrose, and Darling Church in Little Falls. State safety officials have found no evidence connecting the fires in any way.
In many of these cases the Minnesota Department of Public Safety is still looking for help. If someone has any information on these recent fires, they can call 800-273-2020 anonymously, and possibly receive a $5,000 reward for information useful to an open investigation.