Main suspect in custody in Clinton church arson fire - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Main suspect in custody in Clinton church arson fire

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CLINTON (WKOW)  -- Clinton Police say they have arrested their main suspect in an Aug. 13 church arson fire.

Alex J. Thomas 20, South Beloit turned himself in at the police station Sept. 11, 2017 according to a post on the Clinton police Facebook page.

He is one of four people police say are behind an early August fire intentionally set at the First Presbyterian Church's Minister House and to its Noah's Ark playground.

Police Chief David Hooker said about the $200,000 crime involving a mother and teen daughter as well as another adult and juvenile.  Chief Hooker believes it was poor choices and alcohol that led to the series of events. As for motive, he says the group had a disagreement with the Minister,  but couldn't go into detail.

"When you are dealing with an arson fire, it requires a lot of evidence," Hooker said.  Luckily, it came thanks to 'divine intervention' and a concerned tipster who witnessed the group steal from the playground after failing to firebug the area.

"They took that wheel [ark play wheel]', took all the swings, the infant swing and the other two swings were missing," Chief Hooker said.

The church bought new ones in the interim, but will  soon have the old ones returned as well.

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