Anthony Warner, an Antioch, Tennessee, computer contract worker, was the Nashville bomber and is dead, authorities revealed on December 27. They believe he died in the blast on Christmas morning in downtown Nashville.
Authorities have now matched human tissue recovered at the blast zone to Warner’s DNA. “We’ve come to the conclusion that an individual named Anthony Warner is the bomber,” U.S. Attorney Donald Q. Cochran, Jr. declared in a December 27 news conference. Warner was present when the bomb went off and “perished in the bombing,” said authorities. Forensic scientists confirmed a DNA match, authorities said. They scoured surveillance video and saw no one else near the RV, leading them to believe that Warner acted alone.
TBI Director David Rausch said forensic scientists processed evidence from the crime scene and compared it to evidence collected from a vehicle used by Warner. They found a DNA “match at both locations,” he said. Douglas Korneski, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Memphis office, said “human remains discovered at the scene” were Warner’s. “There is no indication that any other persons was involved. We’ve reviewed hours of security video…we saw no other people involved around that vehicle,” he said. Tips from the public proved crucial. A vehicle identification number was unearthed from the blast zone, he said.
Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, was previously named as a person of interest in the explosion of a parked RV in downtown Nashville, according to Nashville’s police chief. The evidence was already mounting that Warner might be the bomber; a similar RV to one used in the blast was pictured on Google Maps at his address.
Authorities matched human tissue recovered at the blast zone to Warner’s DNA on December 27, according to NC5’s Nick Beres. A few minutes later authorities confirmed the news.
The news came two days after the bizarre bombing injured three people and damaged at least 41 buildings.
Here’s what you need to know:
What Was the Motive?
The motive is still unclear.
However, WSMV-TV’s Jeremy Finley is reporting that FBI agents have been “pursuing tips that he (Warner) was paranoid about 5g spying on Americans.” Since the pandemic hit, conspiracy theories have raged that 5G cell phone towers spread COVID-19; scientists have found the claims baseless, according to BBC. In May, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned of the potential for attacks by 5G conspiracy theorists against cell towers and wireless providers. However, that’s only one motive being considered, the television station reported.
Authorities told CNN the explosion was likely a suicide bombing.
The song “Downtown” by Petula Clark was playing from the RV right before the blast, authorities said. That song’s lyrics start, “When you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go downtown…”
Warner Recently Gave Up His House & Job
Warner, who was unmarried and childless, was self-employed in the IT area, a neighbor said; state records show he once was licensed as an alarm contractor, with a specialty in burglar alarm installation.
In recent years, the reclusive Warner, known as Tony to some, lost a father and brother, leaving him with few living family members. On Saturday, a Newsweek editor said DNA swabs were being collected from Warner’s mother, “possibly to help identify human remains.” Heavy reached a neighbor of Warner’s who confirmed that the FBI and ATF were at Warner’s longtime house along Bakertown Road in Antioch, Tennessee, which is a Nashville neighborhood. Documents show Warner transferred the home to a Los Angeles woman a month before the blast, however. It was the second house he’d quit claimed to her in the past year, although the reason is unclear.
According to the Tennessean, police visited Fridrich & Clark Realty’s office in Green Hills to follow up leads; the owner told the newspaper that Warner once worked for the company. The owner had contacted authorities with tips. He worked as a contract laborer doing computer consulting but told the company by email earlier this month that he wasn’t going to work for them anymore. The owner told the newspaper that Warner seemed “very personable” and the bombing “quite out of character.” Warner fixed broken computers for the company.
Warner had deep roots in the Nashville area; Heavy found an old picture of Warner in a 1974 Antioch High School yearbook. He was a junior in high school when this was taken. Warner doesn’t have any obvious/confirmed social media profiles to emerge so far. The chief gave the person of interest’s name as Anthony Q. Warner.
The neighbor didn’t want her name printed, but she said he “lived here a long time. He was quiet, kept to himself.” Even though she’s lived near him for 25 years, the neighbor said she’s never known his last name. She described Warner as a white male with a “slight” build, standing about about 5 feet, 5 inches tall, with “grayish hair, kind of long.” She noticed that the RV, which had been parked in his yard, was moved a couple days ago, and it’s not there now. She said Warner has lived at the home since at least 1995. The home is assessed at $89,900.
The bomber’s motive puzzled many because the bomber made deliberate efforts to encourage people to evacuate the area using a recorded message of a woman telling people to leave. The recording was interspersed with music and included a countdown, authorities said. However, the bombing also disabled a major communication network, because it occurred near a significant AT&T facility; CNN reported that it knocked out much of the region’s wireless service and that authorities are investigating whether it was the bomber’s target. Mobile service was back up but not internet, and authorities are hoping the site will be at full capacity by December 27, authorities said in an earlier new conference that day.