A Costa Mesa man who telephoned police to claim responsibility for a $170,000 fire in a church was arrested on suspicion of arson, authorities said Sunday.
Tustin police said Michael Anthony Murray, 19, called the Costa Mesa Police Department about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, claiming that he set fire to the Tustin Church of Scientology earlier that morning.
The unoccupied church in the 1400 block of Irvine Boulevard was discovered ablaze about 2:12 a.m. Saturday, fire officials said. One firefighter was treated for minor smoke inhalation, but there were no serious injuries reported.
A Tustin police spokesman said no motive for setting the fire has been established, and investigators also were uncertain whether Murray had any association with the church.
But a church spokeswoman reached Sunday said that no church members knew of Murray.
Murray, who was being held Sunday in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail, told investigators he had moved to Orange County from Maryland about six months ago.