A 20-year-old man has been arrested for an arson spree in San Diego's North County that left an Encinitas church and nearby middle school damaged, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.
Tyler Carender, 20, of Encinitas, was arrested on three federal charges of arson in connection with the 2016 fires at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and Oak Crest Middle School.
Carender, who lives adjacent to the middle school in Encinitas and a block from the church, was taken into custody Wednesday morning.
In a court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge William V. Gallo, federal prosecutors accused Carender of the arson spree.
Carender's spree began on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016, when he set fire to the Friendship House Counseling and Youth Center on Balour Drive, owned and operated by the church, according to a newly unsealed indictment.
Firefighters on the scene stopped the spread of the fire to nearby buildings, but the flames swallowed the Youth Center. Fire officials said the building sustained $200,000 in damage.
The second alleged arson happened a week later.
On Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, Carender allegedly set fire to the middle school's Administration Building in the early hours of the day.
The flames weakened the ceiling and roof, leading to a partial collapse of the building.
No firefighters were injured while battling the flames, but the building suffered approximately $300,000 in damage, according to the indictment.
Then, two weeks later, the third alleged arson happened.
Carender allegedly used an incendiary bomb - also known as a Molotov Cocktail - to set fire to the church's preschool building, according to the indictment.
Responding firefighters contained the flames to the preschool's office. The building suffered an estimated $34,000 in damage.
Carender will next appear in court on July 11 for a bail hearing.