Nashville, Tennessee - A Tennessee man was charged yesterday with civil rights violations for his role in the arson of four Nashville area churches.

Alan Douglas Fox, 28, of Nashville, was charged by criminal information with setting fire to the Crievewood United Methodist Church on June 17, 2019; the Crievewood Baptist Church on June 25, 2019; the Saint Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church on June 25, 2019; and the Priest Lake Community Baptist Church on June 26, 2019. Fox is also charged with carrying and using a firearm during the arson of the Crievewood Baptist Church.

The information alleges that Fox intentionally set the fires because of the religious character of the churches.

If convicted, Fox faces up to 20 years in prison for each fire, and a consecutive five-year sentence for the firearms violation.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the FBI, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and the Nashville Fire Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Beth Myers and Trial Attorney Kyle Boynton of the Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case. 

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.