FORT PIERCE, Fla. — The Latest on the arrest of a suspect in the arson of a Florida mosque (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

A former inmate said a man accused of setting fire to a Florida mosque is a “couple cans short of a six pack.”

Ralph Alfonso said Thursday that he thinks someone must have put Joseph Schreiber up to setting fire Sunday to the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce because he isn’t capable of planning such a crime himself.

Alfonso said the 32-year-old Schreiber joined the Messianic Jewish congregation he led at the Lawtey Correctional Institution. He said they tried to protect Schreiber because he was frequently bullied. Schreiber served time at Lawtey because of a theft conviction.

Detectives say that after his arrest Wednesday, Schreiber admitted setting the fire, said he had no intention of hurting anyone and was embarrassed to have committed the crime.


10:30 a.m.

Sheriff’s investigators say a man accused of setting fire to a Florida mosque confessed and said he was embarrassed.

According to a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit released Thursday, 32-year-old Joseph Schreiber was developed as a suspect in the fire Sunday at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce in part because of a tip.

Detectives say that after his arrest Wednesday, Schreiber admitted setting the fire, said he had no intention of hurting anyone and was embarrassed to have committed the crime.

Schreiber was ordered held without bail earlier Thursday. The public defender’s office had no immediate comment.


9:45 a.m.

The man accused of setting fire to a Florida mosque will not be released on bond.

St. Lucie County Judge Philip Yacucci ordered 32-year-old Joseph Michael Schreiber held without bond Thursday on a charge of second-degree arson with a hate crime enhancement. Yacucci cited Schreiber’s two previous prison stays for theft and said he is a danger to the community and a flight risk.

St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputies arrested Schreiber on Wednesday, saying he set the Sunday night fire at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce. Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had occasionally attended the mosque.


3 a.m.

The man accused of setting fire to a Florida mosque posted anti-Islamic statements on Facebook.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office arrested 32-year-old Joseph Michael Schreiber on Wednesday and charged him with arson for allegedly setting fire to the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce late Sunday. Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen had occasionally attended the mosque.

A July post placed on Facebook by Schreiber stated that, “IF AMERICA truly wants peace and safety and pursuit of happiness they should consider all forms of ISLAM as radical.” Schreiber is Jewish.

Maj. David Thompson of the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office told a news conference Schreiber was taken into custody on a street in Fort Pierce by authorities acting on tips from members of the community and aided by surveillance video.