Police are searching for the driver of a car that appears to have intentionally crashed into the Life Center Church in West Spokane Tuesday morning.
The crash wasn't noticed until a passing security guard saw the hole in the church wall around 4 a.m. He reported it to the police, but the driver was nowhere to be found.
The car slammed into the north side of the church. Crews have temporarily patched the damage while Spokane police are searching for the driver. The evidence so far points to the crash being an intentional act, officers said.
"Someone came in here without braking in a straight shot and came through [the] back wall, launched off stage and into the pews," Spokane Police Lieutenant Dean Sprague said.
The car landed more than 50 feet into the church, leaving a path of destruction in its wake, blowing through the church with so much force it moved a baptismal pool to the middle of the church.
"Pretty amazing, kind of a 'wow' moment," Life Center Church Administrative Pastor Blake Folden said. "We're very grateful this didn't happen on a Sunday."
Police are trying to contact the car's owner. Late Tuesday afternoon investigators said they have a person of interest but declined to say who it is.
"There was a bottle of alcohol on the floor outside the car; we don't know if drinking was involved or not," Sprague said.
Folden said he doesn't know who would do this or why.
"We're concerned about the person obviously, they could be a hurting individual, something is going on in their lives we'll pray for, we'll pray for that person," Folden said.
The church has insurance but there's no estimate on the damage done. Church leaders are waiting for an inspector to make sure there's no structural damage to the building. The church is not canceling any events and will hold services as scheduled on Sunday.