Texas church where shooting occurred to be demolished

Law enforcement officials continue to investigate the scene of a shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A man opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing more than two dozen and injuring others. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) – The pastor of a small-town Texas church that was the site of a massacre plans to demolish the building.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy told leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention that it would be too painful to continue using First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs as a place of worship.

A national Southern Baptist Convention spokesman said Pomeroy discussed the plan this week with the denomination’s top executives who had traveled to the community in a show of support.

The spokesman, Sing Oldham, said Pomeroy expressed hope he could turn the site into a memorial for the more than two dozen people who were killed last Sunday and build a new church on property the church owns.

Mike Pence, Karen Pence
FILE – in this Aug. 31, 2017 file photo, Vice President Mike Pence, with his wife Karen, speaks to residents affected by Hurricane Harvey during a visit to the First Baptist Rockport Church in Rockport, Texas. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is rethinking a policy that routinely denies aid to religious institutions if the money will be used to rebuild sanctuaries damaged or destroyed in natural disasters. Several churches hit by recent hurricanes are challenging the policy in court. First Baptist’s Senior Pastor Scott Jones said he doesn’t fault others who seek FEMA aid, but his church won’t be doing so. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Vice President Mike Pence joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for a memorial service at the church for the victims.

Abbot began the service by praying “for healing and for help.” He also proclaimed Tuesday a statewide day of prayer.

Authorities say Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 in the attack, including the unborn baby of one of the women slain.

Apple released a statement saying it has offered the FBI technical advice after learning the bureau was trying to access Kelley’s cell phone.

The company says the FBI has not requested its assistance.

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