Before 'Intentional' Explosion Rocked Downtown Nashville, RV Played Recorded Warning Message

Mark Humphrey / AP / Shutterstock
Police are investigating an explosion that rocked downtown Nashville on Christmas morning in what was officially a "deliberate act".
At around 6 a.m. on Friday, Metro Nashville Police Department officials responded to reports of a suspicious RV outside the AT&T building, police spokesman Don Aaron told the Washington Post in a press conference.
Shortly after, at 6:30 a.m., the RV exploded, sending thick black smoke through the air and blowing out the windows of nearby buildings.
A pre-recorded message was heard from the RV prior to the explosion, indicating a bomb was about to explode in 15 minutes, Metro Nashville police chief John Drake told CNN during a news conference.
A female voice heard the warning about the explosion, Jim Shulman, vice mayor of Nashville, told CNN.
"There have been a number of people who have evacuated and then we know some people. It didn't start when the news said it, so people came back and then it started," he said.
According to ABC News, the explosion knocked one officer down, caused hearing loss in another, and resulted in three people being hospitalized with minor injuries.
Nashville police said in a statement to PEOPLE that "several buildings along 2nd Avenue were damaged, some largely."
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"We believe this was a deliberate act," Aaron said at the press conference.
The Tennessean said the explosion could be heard from a distance and there were reports of windows shaking from south and east Nashville.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said he estimated 20 buildings were affected by the explosion and noted that downtown would be "cordoned off" for further investigation.
Mark Humphrey / AP / Shutterstock
Mark Humphrey / AP / Shutterstock
The FBI is conducting an investigation into the explosion with the help of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Nashville police wrote on Twitter.
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Buck McCoy, a local resident, told the Associated Press the explosion "felt like a bomb".
"There were about four cars on fire. I don't know if it was so hot that they just caught fire and the trees were all blown apart," he said. "All of my windows, every single one of them, was blown into the next room. If I had stood there it would have been awful."
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee responded to the explosion on Twitter, writing that the state would "provide all the resources necessary to determine what happened and who was responsible".
He said he would "pray for the injured" and expressed appreciation for the first responders "who acted so quickly this morning".
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Metro Nashville Choir

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On This Day: 3 December 2002