Police said in court records that a man charged in the beating death of a priest in Eureka tried to blow up the rectory by turning on the gas from the stove and leaving behind a lit cigar.
However, the affidavit obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press said the cigar went out.
The affidavit was filed in support of a warrant to arrest 44-year-old Gary Lee Bullock last week on murder, arson, torture and other charges.
Another priest found the Rev. Eric Freed dead on New Year's Day after he failed to appear for morning Mass at St. Bernard Catholic Church.
The affidavit says the body was wrapped in bedclothes dampened by liquor in another failed attempt to start a fire. The autopsy revealed Father Freed had been beaten with a wooden stake and metal gutter pipe.
Freed was laid to rest in St. Bernard's Cemetery on Monday.