Suspected Christmas explosion in Nashville in explosion, investigators say

Investigators said Sunday that the suspect in the Christmas morning explosion in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, who was identified as Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, was killed.

In conversation with reporters, authorities said state and federal investigators matched the DNA of the blast scene with items collected from Warner and his family members.

Douglas Korenski, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s office in Memphis, said investigating officers also matched an identification number of an RV that officials said was blown up to a vehicle registered by Warner.

According to the investigating officer, no one else was seen around the vehicle during the explosion, Korenski said.

“We can tell you Anthony Warner is the man who is believed to be responsible for this heinous crime,” said John Drake, chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.

Donald Q. Cochran, U.S. Attorney for the Tennessee Central District, added that Warner was “present” and the “bomb” exploded and died in the blast.

Officials would not say whether they determined the type of explosives used. Korenski said investigators are also working to identify a possible motive for the blast, which occurred on Dec. 25 at 6:30 a.m. local time, as police officers responded to reports of gunfire in the area.

The officers who responded heard a warning of an impending explosion of a speaker system in the RV parked outside an AT&T building. Officers also heard the song “Downtown” being broadcast by Petula Clark.

At a separate news conference earlier Sunday, one of the response officers, James Wells, described that he lost his foot – and temporarily his hearing – after the vehicle exploded.

An estimated 41 businesses were damaged in the blast, including the AT&T building, which suffered “significant” damage, the company said Sunday. Nashville’s 911 system was temporarily interrupted, aircraft at Nashville International Airport were grounded and service was interrupted in Kentucky and Alabama.

The company said in a statement Sunday that it had restored power to several floors in the building and deployed 25 temporary satellite cell towers to the city.

More than 90 percent of AT & T’s wireless network was working again, although less of its business and broadband services were fully functional, the company said.