SEATTLE — A 38-year-old man was arrested Tuesday in connection with an Oct. 11 fire at the Islamic Center of Tacoma.
The man was identified through tips after flyers with his description were posted in the area, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
The fire broke out at the center in University Place around 8:30 p.m., just as evening prayer was to begin with 10 people or so in the building, said Islamic Center of Tacoma Executive Director Abdulhakim Mohamed. He said people smelled the smoke and were able to get out safely.
One witness reported seeing a person throw something onto the roof, Mohamed said. Others said they saw someone believed to have started the fire fleeing the scene, according to Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Jeffrey Papen.
As of Wednesday afternoon, an online fundraiser to help rebuild the center had garnered more than $333,400 from more than 3,100 donors.
The man is being held in Pierce County Jail on suspicion of first-degree arson.