INDIANAPOLIS – Detectives assigned to investigate Wednesday morning’s fire at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church have ruled out all accidental causes.
“Although they do believe it was intentionally set at this point, they’re not sure about the other information,” said Captain Rita Burris with the Indianapolis Fire Department.
Investigators arrived around 4:15 a.m. to investigate a report of a break-in. Police called the fire department because the fire alarm was going off. Fire crews found paper material on fire in the sanctuary.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, detectives haven’t found any obvious signs of forced entry. They also said nothing was stolen from the church.
“They’re not sure if someone had been watching for the church door to open and maybe snuck in,” Burris said.
Churchgoers told Fox 59 that they have many questions about who would do this to a church they love. St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church just celebrated its 175th year as a parish.
“I came to Mass today, and it’s all roped off, and I can’t get in,” said Greg Allard, a churchgoer from Greenwood.
“My father used to say he used to stop here just like I do and I love beautiful churches and this is one of the prettiest,” said Margin Logan, another churchgoer.
Police revised the damage estimate for the church. They now say damage is in the range of $400,000, mostly due to problems caused by the heavy smoke. The initial estimate had been around $15,000.
Surveillance video will be collected from several street cameras nearby. No suspects have been identified at this time.