The explosive RV parked in downtown Nashville played a warning message to evacuate, a countdown and even eliminated Petula Clark’s song “Downtown” in the mid-60s minutes before it was released early in Christmas Day in a fiery explosion exploded and injured at least three civilians. .
Five police officers who first responded to the scene early Friday and led evacuation attempts before the explosion told what happened during a press conference on Sunday. The first officer to arrive at the scene, Tyler Luellen, said he was responding to a call to a liquor store and an apartment complex and that he initially did not direct too much knowledge to the RV.
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Seeing no signs of gunfire, he and another officer heard the RV parked in the intersection, heard a message that it was going to explode and that their ‘primary purpose’ was to evacuate. He did radio to notify a sergeant, and amid the rush to evacuate residents and move his police vehicle out of the intersection, he was also able to extract some of the lyrics from a song that soon sounded from the RV has.
“What I remembered was ‘downtown, where the lights are shining brightly,'” Luellen said, recalling how the RV also played music and started counting down. Luellen did not initially recognize the song, but said he was talking to an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), who pulled up the song and confirmed: ” Downtown ‘by Petula Clark was the specific song played. . “
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The suspect in charge of the blast was identified as 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner, who according to authorities died from the blast, confirmed two law enforcement sources to Fox News. He allegedly rented the RV and lived in a house in Antioch, Tennessee, after which the FBI and several law enforcement agencies searched for hours.
Police initially said tissue suspected to be human remains had been found in the rubble scattered by the blast, and investigators will conduct DNA tests. Except for Warner, no other deaths were reported. Three civilians were injured. One officer, James Wells, temporarily lost hearing due to the explosion.
At the same press conference Sunday, Wells described how the RV was also equipped with cameras.
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“There were also cameras on the RV like surveillance cameras above the mirror,” Wells explained. “It felt like whoever was behind us was watching.”
The blast exploded at an AT&T store, causing major communications disruptions affecting mobile service, landlines and 911 call centers. Flights were scheduled for part of the day at Nashville International Airport. An estimated 41 businesses were damaged by the bombing and people were displaced.
Fox Spider’s David Spunt contributed to this report.