Texas man set family’s house on fire because they didn’t follow the Bible, police say

EL PASO, Texas — A Texas man burned his family’s house down Thursday in an attempt to “purge it from evil” because relatives did not follow the Bible, killing his brother in the blaze, investigators said.

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El Paso police said Philip Daniel Mills poured gasoline from a weed wacker onto a living room couch around 11:30 p.m., lit it on fire with a cloth and then went outside, KTSM reported.

“(Mills) waited outside the residence with large rocks in his hands in the event that both his brother and mother had made it out the burning residence,” investigators said.

Mills later fled the area.

Firefighters responded to the area and found Mills’ mother Florence Annette Mills, 82, walking out of the house with burn injuries. She was taken to a hospital where she is in critical condition.

Inside the home, they found brother Paul Aaron Mills, 54, in the living room. He was taken to a hospital where he died from severe burn injuries.

An officer on patrol saw Philip Mills running in the area. He told investigators his house was on fire, KVIA reported.

Investigators said he later told them he started the fire to rid the house of evil. Before setting the fire, he had broken a television and threatened to burn down the house. Investigators told Mills his mother was injured and his brother died because of the fire.

“(Mills) then laughed and advised the investigators that he was shocked that both his mother and brother did not perish and called it a ‘failed attempt,’” detectives said.

Mills was arrested and charged with capital murder and arson.

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