The 6.2 magnitude quake struck about 100 miles northeast of Rome.
The proposal has proved controversial in a country only seven decades removed from totalitarian rule that's grappling with guilt from the Nazi era.
Father Savino D'Amelio was moved to tears by the deadly quake in his Amatrice Parish.
The full extent of the devastation in the central Italian town became evident after daybreak.
Police said the suspect — who shouted "Allahu akbar" both during the attack and while being arrested — did not have any known links to terrorism.