Nashville: officers raid a home as a person of interest reportedly linked to Christmas Day blast
Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams / Getty Images
Police officers searched an address near Nashville. A person of interest was reportedly identified while investigating an apparent bomb explosion that struck downtown Tennessee's largest city on Christmas morning.
Three people were slightly injured in the explosion and some possible human remains were found near a motor home that exploded, seriously damaging Nashville's historic core. It is not clear whether or how the remains are related to the incident.
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Sure is the bizarre nature of the attack.
Police responded to a report of gunfire early in the morning when they stumbled upon the RV and broadcast a pre-recorded warning that a bomb would explode in 15 minutes, said John Drake, chief of police for Metro Nashville. The police evacuated nearby buildings and called the bomb squad. The motor home exploded shortly afterwards.
Police believe the explosion was intentional but are still unaware of the motive or target, and Drake noted that the officers had received no threats prior to the explosion.
On Saturday afternoon, FBI, Nashville Police and others arrived shortly after noon at the 100 block on Bakertown Road in the Antioch suburb of Nashville. "Information developed in the course of the investigation led us to this address," said Darrell DeBusk, an FBI public affairs officer.
DeBush said he was unaware of anyone who was in custody at the time. Prior to this, police officers said they are not involved in an active manhunt and that the city remains under threat.
Drake said local investigators had "found tissue that we believe may be remains, but we will have it examined and let you know at this point."
CBS reported that multiple sources had confirmed that Nashville-based Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, had a make and model vehicle similar to the suspicious RV and linked to the address that was searched.
The explosion caused black smoke and flames to rise from the heart of the tourist scene in downtown Nashville, an area teeming with honky tonks, restaurants, and shops. Buildings shook and windows razed the streets from the explosion near an AT&T building one block from the company's office tower, a landmark downtown.
Police officers gather outside a duplex home in Antioch, Tennessee, on December 26th. Photo: Harrison Mcclary / Reuters
On Saturday morning, teams of experts were still collecting debris from a large area of the explosion site. The damage to the AT&T building has led to speculation that it was the target of the attack.
"We don't know if it was a coincidence or if it was intentional," said police spokesman Don Aaron. He previously said that some people were taken to the department's central district for questioning but refused to provide details.
AT&T said the affected building is the headquarters of a switchboard with network equipment. The blast disrupted service, but the company declined to say how widespread outages were.
Widespread communications outages continued to plague large parts of Tennessee on Saturday. Police emergency systems in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama, as well as the Nashville Covid-19 community hotline and a handful of hospital systems, remained 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.
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