They rushed to the scene and fought to restrain the man, who was suffering from a “visible psycho-physical crisis”.
According to local reports, the 25-year-old Gambian told police he was a Muslim and wanted to destroy Christian symbols.
As well as setting fire to the scene, he destroyed a statue of Mary.
The man, who holds a legal residency permit, has been living in Italy for two years.
The migrant reportedly told police he wanted to destroy Christian symbols
Christian Hubmer of the Wels public prosecutor’s office said the man was reciting verses of the Koran as children put on the play in town of Oberndorf.
He revealed the asylum seeker was shouting statements that were “related” to the Al-Nusra Front, a branch of al-Qaeda in Syria.
The arson attack, which occurred on January 2, took place just days after an asylum seeker stormed a children’s nativity play in Austria.
The man shouted he would kill unbelievers, terrifying toddlers and parents alike.