New York police on Tuesday questioned a person of interest who may be linked to the Molotov cocktail attacks that targeted a mosque and a Hindu place of worship on Sunday night, Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

The case is being investigated as a possible hate crime and drew strong remarks from religious leaders of various backgrounds who joined Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a news conference at the mosque.

Police brought the man in for questioning on Tuesday morning based on eyewitness reports and a surveillance video that may have placed his car at the scene of at least two of the five places that were firebombed, Kelly said.

It was too early in the investigation to discuss criminal charges, Kelly said.

One of the firebombs hit the mosque entrance at the Imam al-Khoei Foundation, a Shiite organisation in the New York City borough Queens while some 75 to 80 people were inside.

Another hit a private home where Hindu services are held, and a convenience store and two private homes were also damaged with no injuries reported.

This is a heinous type of crime, particularly when people are sleeping in their homes, Kelly said. I can tell you that we are going to leave no stone unturned. We are going to use all of our resources to make certain that anyone who would engage in acts like this is arrested and brought to justice.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Sandra Maler)