Man, 36, facing charges for burning down Duluth synagogue

He was identified by police on Sunday.
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Matthew Amiot

A man is being held on probable cause arson charges in connection with the fire at the Adas Israel Synagogue fire in Duluth last week.

Matthew James Amiot, 36, is expected to make his first court appearance in St. Louis County on Monday in connection with the fire on Sept. 9.

Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said at Sunday press conference that at this time, there is "no reason to believe this is a bias or hate crime," though he added that this may change as the investigation unfolds.

Amiot was arrested and booked into jail on Friday, having been interviewed by police.

He had been identified as a possible suspect as early as Monday afternoon as police and fire investigators surveyed the scene.

Duluth Fire Department said that its investigation determined that the fire had been caused from outside the building, though no accelerant was found to have been used.

The Adas Israel Congregation has been in Duluth since the 19th Century and is the oldest Orthodox synagogue in the Twin Ports area. 

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