Son of sheriff's deputy accused of setting 3 black churches on fire in Louisiana

Authorities said a red gas can found at the site of the third fire was traced to a Walmart, where receipts and surveillance video allegedly showed Holden Matthews buying tools.
2:24 | 04/11/19

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Transcript for Son of sheriff's deputy accused of setting 3 black churches on fire in Louisiana
We turn now to the arrest tonight, after a string of fires that destroyed several churches with African-American congregations. Three historic churches were destroyed in just ten days. A 21-year-old man is now in custody tonight and charged with arson. And it turns out, he is the son of a local sheriff's deputy who was stunned, but who helped authorities prepare for the arrest. ABC's Steve osunsami is in St. Landry Parrish tonight. Reporter: 21-year-old holden Matthews is being held without bond tonight. Police say that his father, a St. Landry parish sherriff's deputy, broke down into tears when he learned it was his son accused of burning three black churches here to the ground. Holden's father is an employee of mine. A fine man. He was shocked and hurt, as any father would be. Reporter: The clue that led federal and state investigators to the deputy's son was a red gas can found at the third fire on April 4th. All stations, we have a church on fire. Reporter: Authorities traced that can to a local Walmart, and say that receipts and surveillance video show Matthews buying the tools he needed to start the fires. They say surveillance video shows him driving his father's gold pickup truck at each at the second fire, here at greater union Baptist, he's seen coming back to watch as firefighters risk their lives. We are tter than this and this is a reflection of one depraved individual. Reporter: On his Facebook page, police found that Matthews is fan of black metal, a version of heavy metal where the bands are often anti-christian and sometimes neo-nazi. We saw an immediate threat to public safety. We felt that other crimes were imminent. Reporter: The pastor at mt. Pleasant says the arrest is heaven sent. I'm elated, I'm happy, I'm good. I think I'll be able to sleep tonight. And Steve osunsami joins us live. And authorities are still working to determine a motive, Steve, but revealing the suspect's father, that sheriff, helped in theory east of his son? Reporter: That's right. The deputy worked with hiss boss to get his somebody out of the home so they could make the arrest without hurting anyone else inside the home. He's not entered a plea in this case at this time. I'm standing in the middle of what's left of the first church he's accused of burning down. It's nearly 150 years old and they're promising to rebuild. David? Just awful. All right, Steve osunsami tonight. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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