An arrest as been made after a spree of 52 arson attacks – including a fire at the old home of the late Doors singer Jim Morrison.
Harry Burkhart, 24, from Germany, allegedly shouted “I hate America” when he was seized.
Burkhart was spotted in Los Angeles in his van which had a firestarter’s supply of flammable liquids inside.
Singer and poet Morrison lived at the house with girlfriend Pamela Courson and it provided the inspiration for The Doors song Love Street in 1968.
The four-day arson campaign, which saw cars and buildings set alight, terrified the affluent community over the New Year leaving a trail of destruction that will cost millions to fix.
LA county supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said after the arrest: “Our long, four-day nightmare is over.
“This has been a nightmare for people who live on the west side of LA, the San Fernando Valley and West Hollywood. I live in that community and haven’t had a good night’s sleep since last week.”
The arrest came after US state department officials alerted local police that Burkhart, from Frankfurt, had caused disturbances at an immigration court hearing, believed to have been held over his mother Dorothy’s immigration status.
He was allegedly recognised in CCTV footage of a man leaving the scene of one of the fires, before a policeman stopped his vehicle and arrested him.
Sources said he told officers: “I hate America” as he was taken away.
Police searched a Sunset Boulevard apartment above a hair salon and optician’s where the suspect lived.
A neighbour said an agitated Burkhart visited her on Sunday saying his mother was having legal trouble.
A police source said he may also be connected to an arson case in Germany, and may originally be from Russian rebel state Chechnya.
A fire department spokesman said there had been no fires in Los Angeles since the arrest.