Leaders of a Brevard County church are calling vandalism a hate crime after someone spray-painted words on a storage shed and set a fire to the building.
Police were called out to the New Shiloh Christian Center, 3900 Sarno Road, around 2:30 a.m. Monday for a fire alarm.
"I saw the Nazi sign on the building, and I said, 'Oh my God, are you serious?'" Bishop Jacquelyn Gordon said as she arrived to the church.
There was lots of graffiti among the flooding caused by sprinklers to extinguish the intentionally-set fire.
A swastika was painted on the inside of a storage shed door. Outside were the words "Allahu Akbar," which is Arabic for "God is Great," and a painted window on the front of the shed with the words "We See U."
Bishop Gordon said the graffiti sends a mixed message.
"So which one is it? Is He the 'greatest,' or are we looking at the hatred? It shows a sign of confusion," she said.
The vandals turned to arsonists when they moved to another storage room attached to the building and started a fire, scorching furniture and lawn equipment.
Church staff said the vandals tried to punch a hole through a vent on the shed with a piece of wood. When they couldn't get through, they broke the lock.
But is this a hate crime?
Church leaders said yes. However, police aren't going that far as of yet, saying the investigation must run its course to determine if that's the reason behind the arson, graffiti and criminal mischief.
"Any damage that occurs to property, personal or professional, is of the highest priority, so it was referred immediately to detectives, and will be fully looked into," said Lt. Cheryl Trainer of the Melbourne Police Department.
The FBI has been notified about the case.
The damage is estimated at $5,000.
Bishop Gordon said she forgives whomever is responsible, and church will go on. She will incorporate what happened here in her sermon this weekend.