French authorities are launching an investigation into possible arson after the famed St. Peter and St. Paul cathedral in Nantes, France, caught fire Saturday.
Pierre Sennes, the Nantes public prosecutor, said a criminal motive is suspected because the fire had three different starting points throughout the cathedral. "It's not a coincidence," he said. "It's even a signature."
The fire has been contained and does not appear to have inflicted severe, widespread damage, unlike last year's devastating fire at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, which was not set deliberately. But the organ was reportedly completely destroyed and the platform on which it rests is "very unstable and risks collapsing."
The construction of St. Peter and St. Paul began in the 15th century, but was not completed until four centuries later. Read more at The Washington Post and BBC. Tim O'Donnell
A blaze that broke inside the gothic cathedral in the French city of #Nantes on Saturday has been contained, emergency officials said, adding that the damage was not comparable to last year's fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. #nantescathedral (Video by Jnoel Valentin) pic.twitter.com/HEjJakYeol
The fires all took place in the days following the shooting at Emanuel AME Church June 17, with three ruled as arson, BuzzFeed News reports. Officials have yet to determine the cause of a fourth fire at Grover Grove Baptist Church in Warrenville, South Carolina. "They're being investigated to determine who is responsible and what motives are behind them," FBI spokesperson Paul Bresson said. "I'm not sure there is any reason to link them together at this point." Catherine Garcia