Arrest made in St. Landry Parish church fires

A man from Opelousas has been arrested in connection with arson fires at three churches in St. Landry Parish.

21 year old Holden Matthews was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail on three counts of simple arson of a religious building.

The first fire occurred on March 26th at St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre.

The second happened at Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas on April 2nd.

And on April 4th, a fire was reported at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas.

Investigators were able to determine that all three fires were intentionally set and evidence from the scenes and from technological resources confirmed Matthews as the primary suspect.

The investigative team is still looking into several potential motives.  But, information that’s been uncovered by investigators and offered by Matthews, suggests a possible connection with a music genre called “black metal” and its history with church burnings in other parts of the world.

Potential motives of hate are continuing to be investigated by federal authorities