What pushed church arson suspects to breaking point - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

What pushed church arson suspects to breaking point

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Close friends of the church arson suspects are offering new details on what they say pushed the two men to the breaking point.

Raised in a Christian home, Jason Bourque was known by friends and family as extremely intelligent. He was a state champion in philosophical debate. A close friend of Bourque's, who wishes to remain anonymous, says events in high school made him debate his own religious beliefs.

"He kept telling me how he was going to God for the answers but God wasn't giving him the answers," said the friend.

So he looked for other explanations.

"Senior year some of his friends and him started getting into things like ouija boards and astral-projection and new age things," said the friend.

Daniel McAllister was known around town as an introvert. He and Bourque were members at Ben Wheeler Baptist Church - the same church McAllister's mom worked. Friends say it was her death, three years ago, that caused a change in his personality.

"Daniel started spacing out and just wasn't himself anymore," said the anonymous friend.

"Daniel was kind of an aggressive person," said Dylan Cavamaugh who was on Bourque's debate team.

These friends say they could imagine why churches were targeted.

"I'm thinking that he got it into his mind that there was no God, and that the way he was trying to save people from believing this was to do that," said the anonymous friend.

"I think Jason was just trying to dislodge the institution," said Cavamaugh. "He felt churches were bad and should be removed and he knew there wasn't any other way to do it."

And, when the two were accused for a crime together friends were not shocked.

"I'm not to surprised to see that culmination between Jason and Daniel led to something against an institution," said Cavamaugh.

One church not burned was Ben Wheeler Baptist, home to many memories for both the suspects.

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