Washington, Dec 27 (efe-epa).- Nashville police on Sunday officially identified a possible suspect in the vehicle-bomb blast in the city last week, while authorities were investigating a second suspicious vehicle and its driver on the outskirts of the Tennessee country music capital.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake identified the main suspect in what appears to have been a suicide bombing as Anthony Quinn Warner, a white 63-year-old, although he did not rule out the possibility of investigating more people in the blast.
Authorities believe that the possible author of the attack may have died in the explosion early Friday morning in downtown Nashville, and on Saturday they searched Warner’s home looking for DNA and other evidence that could link him with the human remains found at the site of the explosion, which was on a downtown street in front of an AT&T building, CNN reported.
The huge explosion on Christmas morning of the RV packed with explosives slightly injured three people in the vicinity and severely damaged dozens of buildings just minutes after a tape recording was played multiple times from the vehicle warning people to evacuate the area.
Local tension continued on Sunday, as authorities arrested the driver of another “suspicious vehicle” on Nashville’s outskirts, this one a white truck, and blocked traffic along a stretch of local highway so they could investigate the matter.
That truck had broadcast an audio message similar to the one heard before the Christmas Day blast, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
When the recording began being played loudly, the white truck was parked in front of a food store in the town of Walter Hill, located in Rutherford County, some 37 miles (60 km) from downtown Nashville, the local sheriff’s office said.
After starting the audio broadcast, the truck began driving toward the town of Lebanon, in Wilson County, which is also very close to Nashville and where authorities arrested the driver.
Television images on Sunday showed the truck parked along a rural stretch of highway, with no houses around but numerous law enforcement vehicles nearby, including those of the FBI and other agencies, blocking the passage of the truck.
The discovery of the truck seemed to complicate the investigation just when law enforcement authorities seemed to be focusing on a single bomber: Warner, who was an electronics expert who lived in Nashville neighborhood of Antioch.
The FBI on Saturday questioned several of Warner’s acquaintances and asked them if they whether the suspect was afraid of 5G technology, according to several local news stations.
Investigators believe that Warner suffered from paranoia linked to that technology and believed that it could be used to spy on Americans, according to WSMV television.
That could be one of the possible motivations for the bomb attack that investigators are pursuing: the possibility that Warner was aiming to disrupt telecommunications in the area.
The RV blew up as it was sitting in front of a building occupied by AT&T, causing interruption of local landline and cellular telephone service for thousands of people around Tennessee and in parts of the neighboring states of Kentucky and Alabama.
The six police officers who were in the vicinity when the blast occurred on Sunday spoke with local media and confirmed that just before the explosion, a recording of Petula Clark’s No. 1 1964 pop music hit “Downtown” could be heard being played from the RV.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles entertainment executive Michelle Swing reportedly has been connected to Warner, according to numerous news reports.
Swing, who lives in downtown Los Angeles, formerly lived and went to school in Knoxville, Tennessee, and works as an artist development director at AEG Presents, reportedly received two houses from Warner via quit claim deeds.