Crime & Justice

Authorities said to suspect Nashville blast was suicide bombing

Washington, Dec 26 (efe-epa).- US officials suspect the Christmas Day explosion in Nashville, Tennessee, was a suicide bombing, CNN, CBS News and ABC News reported Saturday, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.

Federal agents carried out a search Saturday at a residence in the Nashville suburb of Antioch.

Investigators are trying to determine whether apparent human remains found at the blast site belonged to the person who lived in the home, ABC News said.

The home in Antioch was associated with Anthony Quinn Warner, a 63-year-old white man who owned a RV similar to the one that detonated early Friday in front of an AT&T transmission hub in downtown Nashville.

Publicly, authorities said that they were following up on some 500 tips and had yet to reach any definitive conclusions on the identity of the perpetrator or the motive for the bombing, which left three people with non-critical injuries and damaged more than 40 businesses.

Officials are “not working on any assumptions,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Doug Korneski said Saturday at a press briefing.

“Our investigative team is turning over every stone,” he said, referring to the 250 FBI personnel assigned to the probe.

One of the possibilities under consideration is that the bombing was meant to disrupt telecommunications.

On Saturday, the damage to the transmission hub was continuing to effect AT&T cellular and internet subscribers in Tennessee and parts of the neighboring states of Kentucky and Alabama.

The impact on communications forced Nashville International Airport to suspend flights for several hours on Friday.

Six Nashville Metropolitan Police Department (NMPD) officers were already on the scene when the blast occurred at 6:30 am Friday, having responded to a call about gunfire.

On hearing a computer-generated voice emanating from the RV warning that the vehicle contained a bomb set to explode in minutes, the officers “did their best to get people to safety,” NMPD spokesman Don Aaron said.

The quick action by the police is credited with minimizing casualties.

“The damage is shocking and it is a miracle that no residents were killed,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee tweeted Saturday after visiting the site, adding that he had asked President Donald Trump to issue a disaster declaration for the state to aid the recovery effort.

Authorities have been seeking to reassure residents that the danger has passed.

“Let me reiterate that Nashville is safe. We feel and know that we have no known threats at this time,” NMPD Chief John Drake said Saturday. EFE llb/dr

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