Chicago - The white son of a Louisiana police officer has been arrested and accused of burning down historically black churches in the southern US state, authorities announced Thursday.
Holden Matthews is charged with three counts of arson on a religious building for allegedly burning down three rural churches over a 10-day period beginning in late March.
Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.
Authorities said they were not ready to discuss the motive for the attacks, but a federal hate crimes investigation was ongoing.
"I don't know what this young man's motive was... but I can say it cannot be justified or rationalised. These were evil acts," Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said at a news conference.