The Metro Nashville Police Department has released a picture of the RV that exploded in downtown Nashville after broadcasting a recorded message warning people to evacuate the area.
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.
The police photo comes as authorities say they may have found human remains near the blast site; but it’s not clear whether the tissue discovered belongs to the suspect or a victim who was in the area. Authorities said in a Christmas Day news conference that they aren’t sure whether the still-unidentified suspect died in the explosion, which demolished a downtown block and rattled Nashville, Tennessee, on the holiday.
While sharing the photo, police wrote, “This is the RV that exploded on 2nd Ave N this morning. It arrived on 2nd Ave at 1:22 a.m. Have you seen this vehicle in our area or do you have information about it? Please contact us via Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463 or online.” They shared this link and tagged the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, which is involved in the investigation into the blast, which left three people with minor injuries and damaged several buildings.
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. is now offering a $25,000 reward, according to Fox17. The police timeline indicates the RV arrived at 2nd Avenue about five hours before it exploded. A curfew was set in the explosion impact area. “We have found tissue that we believe could be remains,” the police chief said in a news conference.
“The RV was detonated, so if it was someone inside, we have no idea. It was such a large explosion,” said the chief. “We will continue to examine that to see if it was human remains.” Some 911 services and AT&T went down for a time, said the chief.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Mayor Says at Least 41 Businesses Were Damaged in the Explosion
Mayor John Cooper said in an early evening news conference that he had just had a “walking tour” of the devastation. “It was a deliberate bomb set off in our community.” It caused “catastrophic” damage to the historic neighborhood and injuries. One building collapsed.
Cooper said the city is resolved to rebuild and to bring “whoever is responsible for this to justice.” Officials are working on declaring a civil emergency.
The mayor said “this morning’s attack on our community was intended to cause fear.” He said “we won’t rest until those responsible for this cowardly attack are brought to justice.” Federal and local authorities are working together. A 4-year-old girl was saved from injury, Cooper said. He added that six uniformed police officers were at the scene at the time of the blast, calling them “incredible heroes who ran to danger.”
The officers who were injured by this are recovering well, said Cooper. He said the officers “took swift action and directed people away from danger…they are heroes, and I am grateful to them and all of Nashville’s first responders.”
The police chief, John Drake, said officers “had no idea what they were responding to” when they responded to a shots fired call. Then they heard a countdown and message from the RV, which also “played music.” Officers “immediately began knocking on doors and evacuating residents,” even though they didn’t know for sure when the bomb would go off. “They cared about the citizens of Nashville.”
“The officers saved lives today, and their heroism should be noted,” said the police chief.
The chief said the motive isn’t clear. “Why Christmas morning, we don’t have any idea,” said the chief. Initially, they thought it would be a propane explosion but “it turned out to be an intentional act.” He said the city had not received any threats.
The RV Broadcast a Recorded Warning Message Before It Blew Up
A video has emerged that appears to capture a warning message that came from the RV that exploded in the downtown Nashville bombing.
A witness told The Tennessean that the RV also broadcast a 15-minute countdown before blowing up, saying, “Whoever did it did give fair warning.”
Officers first realized something was up when they received a report of gunfire. It’s not clear yet whether there was actually gunfire. “They encountered an RV that had a recording that said a potential bomb would detonate within 15 minutes,” police said in an earlier news conference on December 25.
“Officers decided to evacuate the building nearby.” About a half hour later, the bomb went off, causing what authorities described as a “massive crime scene.” Authorities said there were “announcements coming from the RV.”
The parked RV exploded in an area of downtown Nashville that is outside of an AT&T building.
WKRN-TV reported in a live broadcast that a message was “playing from the RV” before the blast. The video below, which was posted on a new Twitter page but also published by local Nashville television stations, captures a message urging people to evacuate. It’s not clear whether the suspect was inside the RV when it exploded, authorities said.
“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 the video.
Police have not identified a suspect or motive in the Nashville bombing, but they say it was an “intentional act.”
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.”