A Fort Worth man accused in the fire bomb attacks at Hulen Mall has been ordered to remain in federal custody.
In a brief detention hearing Wednesday afternoon, Craig Michael Tezeno, 46, was ordered to stay in the custody of federal authorities pending his trial on the charge of arson.
Tezeno, who frequently coughed Wednesday afternoon because of what his brother testified was congestive heart failure, appeared at the hearing along with his attorney Warren St. John of Fort Worth.
In arguing for Tezeno's release pending trial, St. John told U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey L. Cureton that Tezeno was raised in Fort Worth, had a job and his family would support him.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
But federal prosecutors argued he was a flight risk and should remain in custody for the safety of the community.
Tezeno has denied starting the fires, but he admitted he was at Hulen Mall on May 11 and May 18 when Molotov cocktails caused damage in two mall stores. No injuries occurred.
FBI Special Agent Kevin Combs testified Wednesday that Tezeno expressed no concern for the fires at the mall.
"One of his brothers was interviewed and he asked Tezeno about the fires," Combs said. "He (Tezeno) laughed about it."
Tezeno was arrested May 18 at Hulen Mall after maintenance workers pointed him out to officers and told police he looked like the person who set fires in the mall May 11.
The Fort Worth man was sitting on a bench near the Dillard's store and was found to have a loaded pistol after officers searched him.
A federal criminal complaint obtained Wednesday by the Star-Telegram gave this brief account of the incidents at the mall:
A man entered the Dillard's Department Store about 1:52 p.m. on May 11, purchased an X-large Polo green shirt and then left. He went to a green Honda Civic, moved it to a different parking space near Dillard's, exited the vehicle and re-entered the store and went into a dressing room. He left the store at 2:23 p.m
At about 2:30 p.m., Dillard's employees reported a small fire in the dressing room and extinguished it.
At this time, the man went to the car and drove to the parking lot of the Sears store in the mall. At about 2:31 p.m., he entered Sears, walked to a dressing room and then left the store at 2:33 p.m.
Minutes after he left Sears, employees saw a smoldering fire in the dressing room and extinguished it.
Authorities later recovered two 20-ounce glass beer bottles filled with gasoline at the scene of the two fires.
Investigators reviewed security camera video at the mall and noticed the suspect going into various stores before he entered Dillard's on May 11. Authorities later obtained receipts from Dillard's for a purchase made by the suspect with a credit card.
That credit card belonged to Craig Tezeno.
Authorities released photographs of the suspect in hopes that someone could tell investigators where to find him.
Investigators were later notified that Tezeno's ex-girlfriend had filed a complaint against him on May 13, accusing him of domestic violence. A warrant has been issued for his arrest in that case.
Authorities learned Tezeno's ex-girlfriend's son owned a car matching the description of the vehicle used by the suspect on May 11.
His ex-girlfriend was shown surveillance photos of the suspect and she stated she believed the person in the photos was Tezeno. Her son and a brother also identified him.
On May 18, at about 10:30 a.m., another fire was reported at Sears in Hulen Mall, damaging the floor and some merchandise. That fire was set in an aisle of the store and a suspect used a bottle with flammable liquid in it with a rag as a wick for ignition..
FBI Special Agent Daniel Zalesky noted in the criminal complaint the device was the same type of Molotov cocktail used in the May 11 fires.
Officers arrived within five minutes after Sears employees reported the fire.
Police located Tezeno and arrested him, and they also confirmed that he did not have a license to carry a weapon.