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

The voice repeats the message and counts down as the minutes go by.

As the countdown continues, six police officers who heard the warnings went into action and helped downtown Nashville residents evacuate before the garage repaired its threat and exploded Friday morning.
The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a police recruiting center, killing at least three people and wounding three others.

“Officers immediately started knocking on the doors and evacuating residents here, not knowing if the bomb would explode immediately or if it would go off in the time it was said,” said Nashville police chief John Drake .

Clockwise, from top left: Officer Amanda Topping, Officer Brenna Hosey, Officer James Wells, Officer Michael Sipos, Officer Tyler Luellen and eight.  Timothy Miller.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper praised the six officers who responded, saying they “acted swiftly and took people away from danger to save lives, even at the time their lives were endangered.”

“They are heroes. And I’m grateful to them and all the first responders from Nashville,” Cooper said.

Metropolitan Nashville police identified the officers in a news release late Friday as:

  • Officer Brenna Hosey, who has been with the department for 4 years;
  • Officer Tyler Luellen, who has been with the department for three years;
  • Officer Michael Sipos, who has been with the department for 16 months;
  • Officer Amanda Topping, who has been with the department for 21 months;
  • Officer James Wells, who has been with the department for 21 months; and
  • Sergeant Timothy Miller, who has been with the department for 11 years.

The RV’s explosion shattered windows and sent flaming pieces of debris through the air, damaging several buildings.

Three civilians have been admitted to hospital and are in a stable condition, officials said. Police spokesman Don Aaron overthrew the blast officer and caused hearing loss in another. But no officers sustained serious injuries.

Mayor Cooper described it as an ‘intentional bomb’, but officials have not yet had a full explanation for the unusual warnings and explosion.

Jim Shulman, Nashville’s deputy mayor, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday that a female voice had spoken in the RV’s warning message. Betsy Williams, a witness living in another building across the street from the blast, described it as a ‘computerized’ and female voice.

“This area must now be evacuated,” the voice said three times.

Mayor Cooper took note of the hardships the city has faced this year and expressed appreciation for the efforts of the officials responding.

“This is a year in which we understand what our first response always means to our community,” Cooper said. “Unfortunately, you have another example of that on Christmas Day.”

CORRECTION: Two previous versions of this story incorrectly put the first name of one of the six officers. The officer’s name is Tyler Luellen.

CNN’s Paul P. Murphy and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.