Police have arrested a man suspected of setting fire to a car he intentionally crashed into a U.S. defense contractor building in Kearny Mesa early Wednesday, fire investigators said.
The sedan, a reported-stolen Toyota Prius with mismatched plates, slammed into the Raytheon Integrated Defense building on Balboa Avenue near Kearny Villa Road and burst into flames at about 2:30 a.m.
A security guard called 911 and firefighters with San Diego Fire-Rescue quickly knocked down the fire before flames could spread to the building.
When law enforcement arrived, the driver was nowhere to be found, San Diego Fire-Rescue Batt. Chief Mike McBride said.
SDPD called the FBI and ATF to aid in the investigation.
Later Wednesday afternoon, police found and arrested a suspect, identified as 36-year-old Daniel Mackinnon, and charged him with arson.
"We don’t know exactly the motive behind what's going on here but it seems as though they made an attempt to gain access to the building or smashing into the building causing damage," McBride said.
Hours later, an FBI tactical team surrounded Mackinnon's City Heights home and deployed flashbangs before breaching the door and searching inside.
A cellphone recording from a neighbor sounded a boom that set off the alarms of cars parked nearby.
No neighbors NBC 7 spoke with said that they knew the suspect, but they did say the feel safer now that he is in custody.
A plywood board was placed over Mackinnon's front door with a sign notifying the public that the FBI had searched it.
According to the company's website, Raytheon is a defense contractor that specializes in civil government and cybersecurity solutions, including missile defense and electronic warfare.
Investigators are looking through video surveillance of the scene.
Both the San Diego Police Department and SDFD are working on the investigation. A joint Metro-Arson Strike Team (MAST) team will be the lead investigating agency.
Just before 6 a.m., San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit arrived to the scene.
The investigation was expected to stretch well into the day but McBride said it should not affect commuters in the area. Raytheon employees will be able to work during the investigation.
No other information was available.
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