A video captured the moment a bomb went off in an RV parked on a Nashville, Tennessee, street early on Christmas Day. You can watch the video below. It shows a dog walker, who later spoke to local television, in the corner.
CBS News is reporting that the person of interest in the bombing is Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, of the Nashville area. Authorities have not yet publicly confirmed the name. However, we ran an address linked to Warner in online records on Google Maps, and there is a very similar RV visible in the yard.
Here’s another picture of the RV parked at the address that comes up for Warner.
Another video captures recorded audio of a warning apparently playing from the RV before it blew up, injuring three people and damaging multiple buildings. Police say it’s not yet clear whether the suspect died in the blast; the damage was so extensive and caused such a “massive crime scene,” that they aren’t sure whether anyone was inside the RV. Witnesses told NewsChannel5 that the warning message included a countdown. Witnesses also told the television station that they heard gunfire right before the blast.
The motive and identity of a suspect are not yet clear. CBS News is reporting that authorities found human remains near the blast scene, but they haven’t said whether they are the suspect or a victim.
Here’s what you need to know:
Authorities Confirmed That the RV Was Broadcasting ‘Announcements’ Before It Exploded
In a noon news conference on Christmas Day, authorities confirmed that the RV was broadcasting a warning message. They also said that officers were rushing to respond to a shots fired call that came in around 5:30 a.m.
“They encountered an RV that had a recording that said a potential bomb would detonate within 15 minutes,” police said in the news conference. “Officers decided to evacuate the building nearby.” A short time later, the bomb exploded, causing a “massive crime scene.” Three people suffered minor injuries. Authorities said there were “announcements coming from the RV.” It’s not clear what materials were used to cause the explosion.
“If you can hear this message, evacuate now. This area must be evacuated now,” a woman’s recorded voice says in a monotone voice in a video that captured the recording.
One Facebook post claimed that the “RV was broadcasting a message that it contained a bomb and that we had limited time to evacuate. That went on for 20 minutes or so and then the message changed to a countdown. It said we had 15 minutes to evacuate.”
Authorities Say the Nashville Bomb Was an ‘Intentional Act’
Police said almost immediately that the Nashville bombing was an “intentional act.” One officer was knocked off his feet by the explosion, and a number of officers were in the area when the blast occurred, authorities said in the news conference.
The dog walker who was captured in the video gave an interview to WKRN-TV during its live broadcast. He also heard the recording. He told the television station that it said something like, “Step away from this vehicle. Don’t approach this vehicle.” At first he thought it was coming from a police vehicle.
“I realize now it must have been that RV that was doing that,” he said. He saw two officers walking near the Hooters restaurant, and “a guy from a hotel was yelling we have to evacuate,” he said.
An officer was walking toward the dogwalker and “right then, boom.”
Mayor John Cooper tweeted, “At 6:32 Christmas morning, @MNPDNashville and @NashvilleFD responded to the scene of an explosion on 2nd Ave, approximately one block north of Broadway. Metro Police confirm the source of the explosion came from a vehicle. The cause of the explosion is under investigation with help from federal authorities. MNPD will share updates as they become available and is restricting downtown traffic. Be safe Nashville. Thank you to our emergency personnel for your quick response.”
A police spokesman said in a news conference, “The immediate downtown area has been sealed off by law enforcement. A number of police dogs have been called and are now searching the area … to make sure there are no secondary devices. We have no indication there are secondary devices.” The search is occurring out of an “abundance of caution.”
He said the initial call, before the explosion, came in as a shots fired call. However, authorities have not yet confirmed whether shots actually were fired.
They saw that the “RV was parked there. There were circumstances about the RV that caused the officers to request the bomb squad.”
When the explosion went off, it “knocked one of our officers to the ground,” the police spokesman said. No officers were severely hurt. One suffered temporary hearing loss. “There were a number of officers working a call when the explosion occurred,” he said. Officers are now “conducting searches of downtown buildings to make sure there’s no one in need of help.” Several buildings sustained damage.
Witnesses said there were three rounds of gunfire minutes apart, according to WKRN-TV’s live broadcast. The anchor questioned whether that was also a warning or whether it was an attempt to draw police to the area.
“MNPD, FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation and ATF investigating the 6:30 a.m. explosion on 2nd Ave North linked to a vehicle. This appears to have been an intentional act. Law enforcement is closing downtown streets as investigation continues,” police wrote on their Facebook page. Police released this photo:
In June, the Tennessean caused controversy by publishing a paid advertisement from a “fringe religious group” that it says “featured a bizarre, pseudo-religious ‘prophecy,’ including the declaration of an impending nuclear attack in Nashville by ‘Islam.'” There’s no indication at this point that it’s linked to the Christmas Day explosion, though. Newspaper officials apologized for the ad.