Person of interest, 63, ‘identified’ by FBI in Nashville bombing, raid home where RV was parked, as police investigate whether pre-detonation recorded warning was used to lure cops to the blast
The Nashville’s Christmas Day bombing left three people injured and caused severe damage to the city’s downtown
FBI on Saturday ‘identified a person of interest’ in Nashville bombing
Explosion occurred on 2nd Avenue in Nashville’s downtown at 6.40am on Christmas morning
The blast injured three people and caused massive damage
Cops had been called to the area a short time before the explosion amid reports of a shooting
A Nashville man identified the man as local man Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, has been flagged as aperson of interest in the bombing
However, when they arrived at the scene they discovered a parked RV playing a recording which claimed the vehicle would explode
The FBI is now investigating whether the bomb may have been designed to deliberately target police officers as they were lured into the area
Meanwhile, possible human remains have been discovered near the site of the explosion
Neighbors reported seeing a white RV similar to the blast vehicle parked outside Warner’s property within the past two weeks
A similar vehicle can also been seen on a Google Street View search of Warner’s address
Tennessee’s Governor has requested an emergency declaration from President Trump to support ongoing efforts and relief
The FBI has reportedly identified a person of interest in Nashville’s Christmas Day bombing that left three people injured and caused severe damage to the city’s downtown.
CBS has identified the man as local man Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, but they did not say whether he had been taken into custody.
According to the network, ‘at least two tips were called in to the FBI about Warner prior to the explosion.’
Friday’s blast emanated from a white RV parked outside the AT&T building on 2nd Avenue at 6.40 am.
On Saturday afternoon, federal agents were seen outside a Nashville home which has been linked to Warner.
Neighbors reported seeing a white RV parked outside his property within the past two weeks. A similar vehicle can also been seen on a Google Street View search of Warner’s address.
Fox 17 reports that the leading theory for investigators involved in the Christmas Day bombing is that the suspect most likely died in Friday’s explosion.
According to the local source, there is a “likely possibility” the suspect blew up in the explosion yesterday. The source cites two pieces of evidence for the theory, first being the discovery of human tissue remains found at the scene of the blast site.
The second piece of information supporting the theory is there was no video evidence gathered so far by investigators showing a suspicious person walking away from the RV or down the streets minutes before the explosion.
During a press conference on Saturday afternoon, the FBI refused to identify any person in their investigation.
They say they are still pursuing approximately 500 leads and have close to 250 agents and analysts assigned to the case.
The Bureau is also investigating whether the blast was deliberately designed to target law enforcement officers.
Cops had been called to 2nd Avenue shortly before the explosion amid reports of a shooting. However, they arrived to find the white RV playing a recorded announcement saying that it would explode in 15 minutes.
One expert is now theorizing that the spooky recording was designed to bring as many cops and first responders as possible into the area with the intention of killing or maiming them.
‘I kind of think it was probably an idea to get first responders to come in,’ ex-NYPD Detective Bill Ryan told Fox News on Saturday.
Six police officers have now been hailed as heroes after the descended on the area and tried to clear out pedestrians and residents before the bomb went off.
On Saturday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee revealed that he has requested an emergency declaration from President Trump to support ongoing efforts and relief.
‘This morning I toured the site of the bombing. The damage is shocking and it is a miracle that no residents were killed. I continue to pray for those who sustained injuries from the blast,’ he wrote on Twitter.
It comes as Nashville police confirmed that they are investigating whether human remains have been found at the site of the bomb blast.
According to CNN, tissue was discovered at the scene, and forensic experts are now working to determine whether it is human.
It is unclear whether anybody was inside the RV at the time it detonated.
The gigantic blast caused damage to more than 40 buildings, with new videos showing the widespread impact it created.
One shocking clip shared on social media shows an apartment building violently shaking during the blast.
A resident told CNN on Saturday: I’ve never seen anything like it. It shook everything’
Meanwhile, other videos being shared widely on social media show people hiding for cover in buildings along 2nd Avenue as they were warned by cops that the RV could explode.
One man was walking his dog right by the RV and heard the warning message emanating from the vehicle.
On Saturday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration classified the airspace over the site of the bombing as “National Defense Airspace’.
The order prohibits pilots from flying over the site and a surrounding area of one nautical mile. The restriction will stay in place until December 30.
Meanwhile, the area on the ground has still been cordoned off and there is a strong police presence.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper says it will be ‘some time’ before 2nd Avenue is open as normal.
On Friday evening, he announced curfew on the area around the bomb site as the investigation continued.
‘A curfew will start at 4:30pm, Friday Dec 25. and be lifted Sunday, December 27 at 4:30pm,’ he revealed in a tweet.
The blast blew in windows from at least 41 buildings, with one building now partially collapsed.
The RV was parked outside an AT&T facility, with the explosion causing network outages to the company’s phone and internet services.
That issue sparked safety fears as 911 dispatchers were reportedly having trouble identifying the location of callers.
As of Saturday morning, the area has still been cordoned off and there is a strong police presence in the area.
That outage issues lasted into the evening, Saturday. It is now believed they have all been resolved.
The hero cops who tried to clear the area after they arrived to find the RV playing a recording saying it would explode have received special mention.
They were named by Metro Police Chief John Drake as Officer Brenna Hosey, Officer James Luellen, Officer Michael Sipos, Officer Amanda Topping, Officer James Wells and Sergeant Timothy Miller, as he praised them for rushing into danger to save others.
The officers had been responding to reports of shots fired 40 minutes before the explosion when they found an RV located outside of an AT&T transmission building which was playing an announcement featuring a woman’s voice saying it would explode in 15 minutes.
There was no evidence of shooting at the scene and it is not known of the sounds could also have come from the RV’s recording. Cops have not revealed who made the initial shooting report.
They rushed to get people out of their homes while the ominous, pre-recorded message played over and over again with music playing inbetween each countdown, before the van eventually exploded at round 6.40am.
‘These officers didn’t care about themselves,’ Chief Drake said. ‘They didn’t think about that. They cared about the citizens of Nashville. They went in and we’d be talking not about the debris that we have here but potential people.’
Despite the devastation of the blast, miraculously only three people were injured.
They were rushed to hospital in non-life threatening conditions.
FBI Special Agent in charge Matt Foster made a plea to the public for information on Friday night.
‘The FBI stands with the city of Nashville today in this very tragic Christmas Day event.
‘This is our city too. We live here, we work here. We’re putting everything we have into finding who was responsible for what happened here today.
‘There are leads that need to be pursued and technical works need to happen.’
Anyone with information about the incident has been asked to contact the FBI at http://www.fbi.gov/nashville or by calling them.
On Friday night, star of CNBC’s The Profit Marcus Lemonis also offered a $250,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the culprit.
It brought the reward total to $300,000 after previous smaller reward offers from Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., FOX Sports host Clay Travis, and Lewis Country Store.
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