MESA - Mesa Police officials say a man has been arrested, on suspicion of arson and criminal damage for allegedly burning the city's $40,000 Christmas tree.
The nearly four-story tall tree is the focal point of Mesa's annual Christmas celebration. It was destroyed by a fire early Wednesday that police say was intentionally set.
According to police, 34-year-old Samuel Antone Johnson was found nearby, and allegedly admitted to setting the "Merry Main Christmas Tree" on fire with a book of matches.
Police say the man did not disclose a motive.
Johnson has been booked into jail on two felonies, and it is not clear if he has a lawyer yet.
City officials say Wednesday they are trying to quickly find a replacement tree to erect for the rest of the holiday season.
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.