(PatriotWise.com) – Police in Montgomery County, Texas are searching for the person who threw a Molotov cocktail through the window of a Buddhist temple in New Caney Sunday night, KHOU in Houston reported.
The incident occurred around 9:50 p.m. on Sunday at the HuyenTrang Temple. According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, members of the temple who were inside at the time were able to quickly put out the fire.
In a press release, the sheriff’s office released an image taken from surveillance footage showing the suspect and asked the public for help in the investigation.
The sheriff’s office urged residents of New Caney to “remain calm and patient as the investigation progresses,” the press release said. They asked that anyone with information about the incident should contact them, saying that assistance from the public could “play a vital role” in bringing “justice to those affected.”
Surveillance footage outside of the temple shows the suspect covered head to toe and carrying a backpack. He can be seen in the footage lighting the Molotov cocktail and tossing it through an opened front window.
Separate footage from a surveillance camera inside the building shows the Molotov cocktail crashing onto the floor and its fuel igniting. A visiting Buddhist monk who was sleeping in the same room rushed over to try to put out the flames. A second monk then appeared carrying a fire extinguisher.
Socu Nguyen, a Buddhist nun at the temple, told KHOU that Sunday’s attack was not the first time a fire was used to target them. Last year, a mobile home on the property caught fire. While fire investigators ruled it an accident, Nguyen believes last year’s fire and Sunday’s attack are connected.
Fire marshals from Montgomery County are working with the ATF, FBI, and the sheriff’s office on the case.
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