Officers arrest man on suspicion of setting fire at Casa de Oro church

Fire erupted at Santa Sophia Catholic Church

An ex-con was back behind bars Friday on suspicion of maliciously setting a fire that caused more than $200,000 worth of damage to a church near Mount Helix.

Investigators arrested Eugene William Volk, 45, Thursday as he walked near fire-damaged Santa Sophia Church on San Juan Street in Spring Valley, sheriff's arson Detective Anthony Portillo said.

Shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, flames began spreading through the Catholic house of worship just north of Campo Road and State Route 94.

It took firefighters about 10 minutes to douse the non-injury blaze, which caused extensive damage to the church interior.

Authorities declined to disclose what led them to conclude that the fire was intentionally set or identify Volk as the suspected arsonist.

The motive for the alleged crime was unknown, according to Portillo.

Volk was being held at San Diego Central Jail without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

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