Man Charged For Civil Rights Violation After Allegedly Setting 4 Churches On Fire

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A man who allegedly burned four Nashville area churches was charged with a civil rights violation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Wednesday.

Alan Douglas Fox, 28, was charged for his actions in the alleged arson of four different churches in June 2019, according to a DOJ press release. Fox, who is from Nashville, was also charged for allegedly carrying and using a firearm during the arson of one of the churches. (RELATED: Man Charged Nearly A Year After He Allegedly Set Historic California Catholic Church Ablaze)

Fox is accused of intentionally setting the fires “because of the religious character of the churches,” the DOJ stated. He allegedly set fire to the Crievewood United Methodist Church on June 17, 2019; the Crievewood Baptist Church on June 25, 2019; the Saint Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church on June 25, 2019; and the Priest Lake Community Baptist Church on June 26, 2019, according to the DOJ. The firearm charges against him stem from the arson of the Crievewood Baptist Church incident, the press release stated.

The incidents were investigated by several law enforcement organizations including the FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the Nashville Fire Department, according to the press release. Fox faces up to 20 years in prison for each arson incident and an additional five-year sentence for the firearms violation if he is convicted, according to the DOJ.

Another arson incident in Tennessee involved a former volunteer fireman who set ablaze the New Salem Presbyterian Church on Easter Sunday. Smothers Chapel in Memphis, Tennessee, was also intentionally burned in April, according to investigators. No one was killed in the fire but it did result in over $7000 worth of damages, as previously reported.