A Rwandan immigrant, who killed a catholic priest sheltering him, turned himself in on Monday.
The immigrant was awaiting a potential trial over arson at the cathedral the year before, officials say.
A source close to the investigation reported that the 40-year-old turned himself in mid-morning.
After a while, police found the Priest’s dead body in Saint-Laurent-Sur-Sevre, Vendee.
“All my support to Catholics in our country after the dramatic killing of a priest in the Vendee. I’m headed there,” tweeted the Minister of Interior, Gerald Darmanin.
The incident puts extra pressure on President Emmanuel Macron’s security and immigration policies.
Now that a presidential election is approaching eight months later, Macron’s biggest challenge is the far-right.
French immigration officials expelled the Rwandan immigrant in 2019, but he stayed in the country.
Prosecutors claim that he set fire to Nantes Cathedral a year later.
In July 2020, flames overtook the interior of the 15th-century cathedral and destroyed a large organ, painting and mosaic windows.
The far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, criticized the government and described what happened as a “total failure of the state.”
The leading local investigators said they would not treat the murder as an act of terrorism.
BFM TV reported that the immigrant received treatment at a mental hospital last July.
The victim was the 60-year-old Olivier Maire, head of the Montfortain Missionary Order, revealed the Vendee region representative, Senator Bruno Retailleau.
After being released on bail during an official investigation, the victim provided refuge for the murder suspect in the act of compassion.
“Deeply shocked by the terrible murder of a priest who had taken his murderer into his care,” Retailleau tweeted, exclaiming why the Rwandan was still in France.
Local worshipers said that the church members loved the Priest, and he was famous for his deep empathy.
Sister Dorothee Harushinana said she was in shock and can’t believe he’s dead.
Harushinana had attended a sermon the Priest held on Sunday where she described him as “close to people.”