FBI at home of possible person of interest in Nashville bomb
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Federal investigators have identified a person of interest in connection with the explosion that struck downtown Nashville on Christmas Day and were looking for a house attached to that person, police officers said Saturday.
Investigators from several federal and local law enforcement agencies found themselves in a house in Antioch, a suburb of Nashville, after receiving information relevant to the investigation, FBI special agent Jason Pack said. Another law enforcement officer, who was not empowered to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said investigators consider a person connected to the property to be a person interested in the bombing.
Earlier on Saturday, investigators said at a press conference that they are investigating a number of people who may be linked to the bombing but have also not found any additional explosive devices - indicating that there is no active threat to the area.
Douglas Korneski, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Memphis branch, said 250 agents, analysts and FBI staff working on the case were making progress in finding the person or people responsible for planting a bomb Recreational vehicle that exploded along a mostly deserted road. Three people were injured.
"It will only take time," he said. "Our investigation team is turning every stone" to understand who did this and why.
Separately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said in a report on Saturday that tissue samples found at the crime scene have been classified as human remains.
The attack that continued to devastate communications systems across the state. Police emergency systems in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama, as well as the Nashville COVID-19 community hotline and a handful of hospital systems, continued to be out of service as an AT&T headquarters was affected by the explosion. The building contained a switchboard with network equipment - but the company refused to say exactly how many people were affected.
Investigators closed the heart of downtown Nashville's tourist scene - an area filled with honky tonks, restaurants, and shops - when they shuffled through broken glass and damaged buildings to learn more about the explosion.
Mayor John Cooper has imposed a downtown curfew through Sunday to restrict public access to the area.
AT&T said the restoration efforts faced several challenges, including a fire that "re-ignited overnight and resulted in the evacuation of the building". This has forced their teams to work with security and civil engineers and drill access holes in the building to restore power.
"Our teams continue to work around the clock on the recovery effort after yesterday morning's explosion in Nashville," the company said in a statement on Saturday. "We have two portable cell locations in downtown Nashville, and we have numerous additional portable cell locations in the Nashville area and region."
Governor Bill Lee asked the White House for federal assistance on Saturday because of the "severity and magnitude" of the effects of the explosion. At least 41 buildings were damaged and communications systems - including home and cell phone services and 911 call centers - were down across the state. Kentucky and northern Alabama are also affected, he said.
Ray Neville, President of Technology at T-Mobile, said on Twitter that Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Birmingham and Atlanta are experiencing business disruptions. “After yesterday's explosion, we continue to see business interruptions in these areas. The restoration work will continue around the clock and we will keep you updated on the progress, ”he said in a tweet on Saturday.
The outages even temporarily suspended flights at Nashville International Airport, but service resumed normally from Saturday. The Federal Aviation Association has since placed a temporary flight restriction around the airport requiring pilots to adhere to strict procedures by December 30th.
Metro Nashville police chief John Drake responded to a report of gunfire on Friday when they stumbled upon the RV and issued a pre-recorded warning that a bomb would explode in 15 minutes. The police evacuated nearby buildings and called the bomb squad. The motor home exploded shortly afterwards.
Police officers have stated that they believe the explosion was deliberate since shortly after the explosion at around 6:30 a.m. You have not spoken publicly about a possible goal or motive.
In West Virginia, a hospital system announced Saturday that it had network connectivity issues related to the Nashville explosion. South Charleston-based Thomas Health, who operates two hospitals, said on its Facebook page that there was no estimated restoration time.
Similarly, the Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin, Tennessee, posted on its Facebook page that it was operating without access to some of its systems, including medical records.
“We are preparing for such situations and immediately switched to paper documents. There has been no interruption in the delivery of patient care and no cause for concern for this temporary problem, "the center said in a post-Friday.
Related: Nashville Explosion
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