Federal prosecutors say a church maintenance worker set a fire and spray-painted racist graffiti on a predominantly black Kansas City church in order to cover up a theft.

Nathaniel Nelson was charged Monday with arson. He was a member and employee of the Concord Fortress of Hope church and its cultural center, where the arson and graffiti were discovered early Sunday.

Investigators say sprinklers quickly extinguished an intentionally set fire in an office. Graffiti on the church included a racial slur and "KKK."

According to a federal affidavit, Nelson told investigators he was at the church to do drugs and he tried to steal money. He reportedly told investigators he spray-painted the graffiti to throw off investigators.

Online court records do not indicate if Nelson has an attorney.