Nashville bomb blast: Residents must first take a closer look at their homes since the Christmas blast

Access will only be granted to buildings that are considered safe by engineers, Metro Police Chief Chris Taylor said during a news conference on Monday.

It could take a few more days before anyone can enter the buildings in the street where the explosion took place, he said.

A recreational vehicle was parked in 2nd Avenue North on Friday right outside an AT&T transmission building when a message went out to nearby people to evacuate them before the vehicle exploded, damaging more than 40 buildings and injuring at least eight people.

Although the extent of their injuries was not disclosed, all patients were discharged, TriStar Centennial Medical Center spokeswoman Jill Newham said Monday.

And while AT&T said most services in the area have been restored, residents say the photos they see of the rubble are overwhelming.

“I know the streets like the back of my hand. This is my life. This is my love. I’ve been down there every day for years and I can not even figure out what the store was or where or where (it is) almost “And it’s really heartbreaking,” Pete Gibson, owner of Pride & Glory Tattoo on 2nd Avenue, told CNN.

Small business owners, who have been fighting to survive the economic hardship of the coronavirus pandemic, are now worried about how they will recover from this additional injury.

“This year has been tough,” Gibson told CNN’s Natasha Chen. “It was obviously a bit off compared to normal. But if we get a little light at the end of the tunnel, it all disappears within two seconds.”

An explosion in a historic street

The white RV arrived outside the AT&T building in downtown Nashville at 1:22 a.m. Friday. police said.

Hours later, residents reported the sound of rapid-fire gunfire, and police responded to the historic street at about 5:30 p.m.

Thereafter, the vehicle began emitting a computerized female voice warning that an explosion would occur within 15 minutes. The RV also aired Petula Clark’s hit “Downtown” in 1964, a song about how the hustle and bustle of downtown can cure the problems of a lonely person.

Police officers in Nashville describe Christmas morning explosion in their own words
Six police officers in uniform heard the message and immediately started knocking on the doors and evacuating residents.

When the countdown runs out, the message changes.

“If you can hear this message, you must evacuate now,” the voice said around 6:30 p.m. “If you can hear this message, you must evacuate it now.”

Then the RV exploded.

“I just saw the biggest flames I’ve ever seen, the biggest explosion,” Amanda Topping said. “I just saw orange and … felt the heat, the wave.”

Because no one took responsibility, and the intention appeared to be to avoid major causes, the authorities spent the next few days searching for the bomber’s identity.

He was named on Monday as 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner.

Bomber identified

Warner’s father previously worked at AT&T, David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, confirmed Monday. He said investigators were investigating whether it could be relevant to the motive behind the bombing.

Warner, of Antioch, Tennessee, has not been on the law enforcement radar before, TBI director Rausch said.

FBI agent Doug Korneski said investigators were interviewing people who knew Warner to try to learn a possible motive. There is no indication that anyone else was involved, he said.

These six Nashville police officers evacuated residents moments before the garage exploded

“These answers will not come quickly,” Korneski said. “While we may be able to answer some of the questions … none of the answers will be enough for those affected by this event.”

Rick Laude, Warner’s neighbor since 2010, told CNN on Monday he spoke to Warner four days before the bombing.

I said, ‘Hey, Anthony, is Santa going to bring you something good for Christmas? ‘, Laude said. “He said, ‘Yeah, I’ll be more famous. I’ll be so famous. Nashville will never forget me.”

Laude said he thinks Warner is referring to something good happening.

“Let me be very clear, he and I were not friends,” he said. ‘You will not find anyone in my neighborhood who would claim to be a friend of his. He was just a legitimate hermit. ‘

Remains of the RV were recovered from the scene and investigators with the Tennessee Highway Patrol were able to determine the vehicle identification number, authorities said Sunday. Korneski said the VIN number matches that of a vehicle registered with Warner.

A tip about the RV led law enforcement to Warner’s Bakertown Road home, a CNN official told CNN. Federal investigators were conducting a court authorization at home on Saturday, “FBI spokesman Jason Pack told CNN.

Investigators positively identified Warner by comparing DNA from the scene to that on gloves and a hat from a vehicle he owned, Rausch said Monday.

CNN’s Jamiel Lynch, Hollie Silverman, Eric Levenson, Amir Vera, Kay Jones and Natasha Chen contributed to this report.