NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A 37-year-old man has been taken into custody after trying to enter St. Patrick’s Cathedral with cans of gasoline.

The NYPD reports that the suspect was stopped by church ushers who quickly alerted police around 8 p.m.

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Police sources add that the man is from New Jersey and was detained for questioning while investigators determine his mental state. The man was reportedly taken into custody after telling authorities his nearby vehicle had run out of gas, but when officers examined the car that was not true.

WEB EXTRA – NYPD officials detail how the suspect at St. Patrick’s Cathedral was stopped:

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NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & Counterterrorism John Miller said Wednesday night that the 37-year-old was found with two jugs of gasoline, two bottles of light fluid, and lighters when he was spotted by church officials.

Southbound traffic on Fifth Avenue around the church has been shut down while the investigation continues.

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Stay with CBS New York for the latest on this developing story.