UNITED STATES

Authorities identify man suspected of igniting Nashville bomb

Dec 27, 2020, 3:22 PM | Updated: 3:27 pm
bomber...
This image taken from surveillance video provided by Metro Nashville PD shows a recreational vehicle that was involved in a blast on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn. An explosion shook the largely deserted streets early Christmas morning, shattering windows, damaging buildings and wounding some people. Police were responding to a report of shots fired when they encountered a recreational vehicle blaring a recording that said a bomb would detonate in 15 minutes, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. Police evacuated nearby buildings and called in the bomb squad. (Metro Nashville PD via AP)
(Metro Nashville PD via AP)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal authorities identified on Sunday the man they say is responsible for the Christmas Day bombing and said that he died in the explosion.

Investigators used DNA to link the man, identified as Anthony Quinn Warner, to the blast.

They said they believe no one else was involved.

Police earlier in the day had revealed that Warner, 63, was under investigation. He had experience with electronics and alarms, according to public records, and had worked as a computer consultant for a Nashville realtor.

Investigators converged on his home on Saturday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Nashville police urged nearby residents to get away as an ominous recording blared from a recreational vehicle. Suddenly the warning stopped, and Petula Clark’s 1964 hit “Downtown” started playing. Then the bomb went off.

Police officers provided harrowing details Sunday of responding to the Christmas morning explosion in downtown Nashville, at times getting choked up reliving the moments that led up to the blast and offering gratitude that they were still alive.

“This is going to tie us together forever, for the rest of my life,” Officer James Wells, who suffered some hearing loss due to the explosion, told reporters at a news conference. “Christmas will never be the same.”

A 63-year-old Tennessee man, Anthony Q. Warner, was under investigation in connection with the blast, Nashville Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron said. He did not provide more details. Warner had experience with electronics and alarms, according to public records, and had worked as a computer consultant for a Nashville realtor.

The five responding officers gave their accounts of what happened Friday as investigators continued to chip away at the motive of the RV bombing on a mostly deserted street just after it issued the recorded warning advising people to evacuate.

“I just see orange and then I hear a loud boom. As I’m stumbling around, I just tell myself to stay on my feet and to stay alive,” Wells said, at times tearing up.

Officer Amanda Topping said she initially parked their police car beside the RV while responding to the call before moving it once they heard the recording.

Topping said she called her wife to let her know that “things were just really strange” as she helped guide people away from the RV.

That’s when she heard the RV recording switch from a warning to playing Clark’s hit, “Downtown.” Moments later the explosion struck.

“I felt the waves of heat but I kind of just lost it and started sprinting toward (Wells),” Topping said. “I’ve never grabbed someone so hard in my life.”

Officer Brenna Hosey said she and her colleagues knocked on six or seven doors in nearby apartments to warn people to evacuate. She particularly remembered a startled mother of four children.

“I don’t have kids but I have cousins and nieces, people who I love who are small,” Hosey said, adding she had to plead with the family to leave the building as quickly as possible.

The attack, which damaged an AT&T building, has continued to wreak havoc on cellphone service and police and hospital communications in several Southern states as the company worked to restore service.

On Saturday, investigators from multiple federal and local law enforcement agencies descended on a home in Antioch, in suburban Nashville, after receiving information relevant to the investigation, said FBI Special Agent Jason Pack.

Another law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said authorities were investigating someone associated with the property, whom he identified as Warner.

Federal agents could be seen looking around the property, searching the home and the backyard. A Google Maps image captured in May 2019 had shown an RV similar to the one that exploded parked in the backyard, but it was not at the property on Saturday, according to an AP reporter at the scene.

The official said federal investigators were examining Warner’s digital footprint and financial history, as well as a recent deed transfer of the home they searched in suburban Nashville.

Forensic analysts were also reviewing evidence collected from the blast site to try to identify the components of the explosives as well as information from the U.S. Bomb Data Center for intelligence and investigative leads, the official said.

He said federal agents were examining a number of potential leads and pursuing several theories, including the possibility that the AT&T building was targeted.

The bomb caused damage that affected communications in several states.

Investigators shut down the heart of downtown Nashville’s tourist scene — an area packed with honky-tonks, restaurants and shops — as they shuffled through broken glass and damaged buildings to learn more about the explosion.

Meanwhile, Nashville realtor Steve Fridrich told the AP in a text message that Warner had worked for his company as a computer consultant, and informed it that he was retiring earlier this month. The company has notified authorities of the past IT work, Fridrich said.

There were other signs of progress in the investigation. The FBI has said it was looking at a number of individuals who may be connected to it. Officials also said no additional explosive devices have been found — indicating no active threat to the area.

Investigators also said they were working to identify human remains found at the scene. Beyond that, the only known casualties were three injured people.

The infrastructure damage was broadly felt, due to an AT&T central office being affected by the blast. Police emergency systems in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama, as well as Nashville’s COVID-19 community hot line and a handful of hospital systems were impacted.

The building contained a telephone exchange, with network equipment in it — but the company has declined to say exactly how many people were affected.
AT&T said Sunday it was rerouting service to other facilities as the company worked to restore its heavily damaged building. The company said in a statement that it was bringing in resources to help recover affected voice and data services and expects to have 24 additional trailers of disaster recovery equipment at the site by the end of the day.

Restoration efforts faced several challenges, which included a fire that forced their teams to work with safety and structural engineers and drilling access holes into the building in order to reconnect power.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a temporary flight restriction around the airport, requiring pilots to follow strict procedures until Dec. 30.
___
Balsamo and Tucker reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Scott Stroud and photographer Mark Humphrey in Nashville contributed to this report.

Today’s Top Stories

United States

From left, Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of C...
ALAN FRAM Associated Press

Congress sends landmark gun violence compromise to Biden

The bill that passed the House on Friday is a compromise that illustrates progress on the issue and the deep-seated divide that persists.
3 days ago
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, Friday, June 24, 2022, after the Supre...
CHRIS MEGERIAN and ZEKE MILLER

Biden calls abortion ruling ‘a sad day’ for country

He said the court has done what it's never done before in taking away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans.
3 days ago
June 24, 2022: LEFT: Representatives of pro-life groups from Utah celebrate at the Utah State Capit...
Simone Seikaly

Utah leaders react to Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

The reactions range from joy, to anger, to concern over women's access to services in the event of an unplanned pregnancy.
3 days ago
TOPSHOT - Pro-choice activists participate in a "flash-mob" demonstration outside of the US Supreme...
Amie Schaeffer

Roe V. Wade overturned by Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a six to three decision, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. Justice Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer have dissented.  The constitutional right to abortion is no longer a guarantee in the United States.  The decision has been anticipated since a draft of the opinion was leaked by […]
3 days ago
gun rights Utah abortion Boston Christian flag...
JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press

Supreme Court expands gun rights, striking down New York limits

The justices' 6-3 decision is expected to allow more people to legally carry guns on the streets of the nation's largest cities.
4 days ago
FILE - This Dec. 20, 2018, file photo shows a Juul electronic cigarette starter kit at a smoke shop...
MATTHEW PERRONE, AP Health Writer

FDA bans Juul e-cigarettes tied to teen vaping surge

The announcement Thursday by the FDA is part of a sweeping regulatory review of e-cigarettes, which faced little regulation until recently.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Authorities identify man suspected of igniting Nashville bomb