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Arson damages at Indy Catholic church reach $400K

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An apparent arson has caused an estimated $400,000 in damages to a historic downtown Indianapolis Catholic church.

Indianapolis Metro Police Department Sgt. Linda Jackson said Wednesday that heavy smoke damage had increased the damages from an early estimate of $15,000.

The John the Evangelist Catholic Church, opposite the Indiana Convention Center, houses the first Catholic parish established in Indianapolis in 1837. Construction of the church was completed in 1871.

Jackson says arson detectives have ruled out all accidental causes to the fire. She says there was no sign of forced entry, and nothing was removed.

For years the church attracted worshippers among fans of the Indianapolis Colts when the team played across the street at the now demolished RCA Dome. It still draws downtown workers to weekday Masses and other services.

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