Police said Gainesville High School student had been planning the attack on the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church for several weeks.
Police chief Jay Parrish said he has taken important steps online to investigate black churches and visit Bethel AME once this month. He said there was no one in the church at the time.
A student overheard when he heard the teenager talking about the alleged threat on Friday and warned a school head.
Young detained. Police say he faces charges of attempted murder to commit murder.
"I have no doubt that we are preventing an ugly attack," Parrish said.
The police chief said he targeted the Bethel AME because of young African-American churches and small communities.
"I know you've done a lot of internet research about what he wants to do," Parrish said. Said. “I think he wanted to lose his fame and looked at the African American churches inside.”
Although there are a few black churches in Gainesville, he "somehow took him down to this area and became a target." Said.
The police informed Bethel AME's pastor after learning about the alleged subject.
The chief said the absence of anyone in the church when he visited the youth was "divine intervention." He believes he has the knives.
The police believe she's acting alone. Parrish said no other church was at risk.
“A single job of a student does not represent the views and beliefs of the Gainesville City School System, Okul said School Chief Jeremy Williams.
"As a school system that celebrates our diversity, we are surprised by the latest developments. However, we are proud of our students who have informed the school management about a possible off-campus threat," he said.
The young people's plans were very detailed, the chief said.
"I am extremely worried that someone will feel that way and take these important steps to attack an innocent person, a divine person, in a church, one of the most sacred things my society has left," Parrish said.
Parrish, a Gainesville citizen, said the alleged plot was "against who we are."
Um I've been in this community all my life and it doesn't represent us, ”he said.
Nick Valencia and Pam Kirkland reported from Gainesville, and Darran Simon wrote and wrote in Atlanta. Amanda Watts of CNN contributed to this report.