As many as six dozen churches in two states are on high alert after receiving eerie letters signed by "the Waster." Over the last two weeks, churches of varying denominations in McMinn and Monroe counties in Tennessee, and Murray County in Georgia, have received a photocopied letter criticizing "you preachers, ministers, and chaplains" for not teaching all of the Bible's commandments, authorities tell NBC News. While the letter doesn't include specific threats, church officials are on edge, particularly since "the Waster" also mentions Isaiah 54:16, a Bible verse which reads in part: "I have created the waster to destroy."
Authorities say the writer—who police haven't identified—has not committed a crime, but fingerprints have been lifted from the letters as a precaution since the message is "very suspicious in nature" and "the intent is unknown." A man has been captured on several church surveillance videos, reports WRCB, but police say more than one person could be delivering the letters. A detective notes police are now working with churches on safety plans, which may include door greeters to keep watch. "It's sad that it's come to that, but it's better to be safe than sorry," he says. (Perhaps the Waster learned from "the Watcher.")