By Jason Allen

EULESS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – At the Mid-City Inn in Euless where crime scene investigators were still going through room 113 Tuesday, residents said accused killer Jason Thornburg was often seen outside, reading his Bible, and talked about God and wanting help people. He left postcards for a local church in the motel office.

(credit: Tarrant County Jail)

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In May, Scott Black was attending a church in Fort Worth where a man was introduced who had escaped a house fire, made it out alive, but lost everything. That man was Thornburg. Black offered to help him, paying for hotel room, cooking him meals, had him around his family, and was about to offer him a place to stay in his own home but his wife didn’t want him to.

“We thought ‘Oh Jason, God must have a great plan for you’,” Black said people told Thornburg.

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Black and others didn’t suspect that Thornburg, according to his arrest affidavit, was responsible for the fire. It said he admitted slicing the throat of the man found dead inside the home, identified by Tarrant County medical examiner records as 61-year-old Mark Jewell. Then, according to the warrant, he uncapped a natural gas line, and lit a candle.

“He actually spoke at the guy’s funeral service,” Black said. That is what’s giving me chills. I’m stunned. My whole view of humanity has changed. This is evil. Pure evil.”

In June, Thornburg attended a leadership conference taught by Black. On a worksheet he wrote that he wanted to be a missionary. His greatest strength, he wrote, was “a sense of purpose, a sense of destiny that must be achieved.”

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