Authorities have identified the man suspected of having triggered the explosion that devastated part of historic downtown Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas Day, they announced on Sunday, adding that he had died in the explosion.
“We have come to the conclusion that the individual named Anthony Warner is the author of the explosion. He was present when the bomb went off and he perished in the blast, ”Federal Prosecutor Don Cochran said at a press conference.
For his part, the FBI special agent responsible for the investigation, Doug Korneski, said that “there is no indication of the involvement of other people”, while adding that several leads were still under investigation. The authorities present at the press conference clarified that Anthony Warner was not known to their services. According to the press, Anthony Warner, 63, had been identified by the police on Saturday. But at the time, the police had confined themselves to saying that a person was wanted “in the interests (of the investigations)”. Investigators raided a house in a district in the south-east of the city.
The campervan explosion devastated a historic district of the country music capital of the United States, exploding early Friday morning. Just before the explosion, the author had played a chilling recording over the loudspeaker, calling on people around to evacuate. Thus, despite the magnitude of the explosion, only three injured were to be deplored. DNA analysis of tissue from human remains found at the blast site identified Anthony Warner, said David Roush, head of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations. The police immediately considered that it was an “intentional act” but investigators are still trying to identify the motive.
A message broadcast by loudspeaker
Tennesse Senator Marsha Blackburn posted on Twitter that she asked President Donald Trump to declare Nashville a disaster area, a measure to unlock federal aid to repair the damage. According to a timetable provided by authorities, police received an alert for gunfire in the area at 5:30 a.m. and officers identified the camper van 30 minutes later. Fifteen minutes later, they heard a chilling recording over the loudspeaker, interspersed with musical passages, calling on people around to evacuate.
The camper van was parked in front of an AT&T phone company building, and its explosion damaged facilities, disrupting telecommunications in Tennessee and parts of Alabama and Kentucky. Even the local airport had to suspend its flights for a while. AT&T said on Saturday that two mobile phone antennas have been installed in downtown Nashville and many more in the area to restore communications.