Police say the man suspected of causing the fatal fire at an animation studio in Kyoto is Shinji Aoba, a 41-year-old resident of Saitama City, near Tokyo.
Investigative sources say the man used to live in Ibaraki Prefecture. He was indicted in 2012 for a convenience store robbery and sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison.
After he served his sentence, the man briefly lived in a shelter for former convicts before moving to an apartment building that is registered as his current address.
Sources also say the suspected arsonist lives on welfare and was treated for mental health issues.
Police were called last year and this year after he caused trouble with his neighbors over noise.
The man is being treated for severe burns. Investigators plan to question him when his condition improves.