FBI Raids Home of Suspect in Nashville Christmas Day Bombing

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FBI agent on sidewalk by Tim Pierce is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The FBI said it has more than 500 tips over the Christmas day explosion that devastated downtown Nashville. Over 250 FBI agents and staff are working the case and pursuing leads, according to special agent in charge Doug Korneski.

Who Do the Feds Suspect?

According to multiple reports, Nashville area man Anthony Quinn Warner has a Recreational Vehicle (RV) that matches the description of the one seen in footage of the RV that exploded.

According to the FBI they also have a number of other leads and suspects, although Korneski said they will not be sharing specific information at this time.

The explosion had a female voice telling people to evacuate the area prior to going off. The death toll from the explosion is not clear, although human remains have been found near the site of the RV and three injuries are recorded none of which are life threatening. The explosion also heavily damaged 41 businesses in the area and did significant damage to the streets and structures in the surrounding area.

FBI Executes Raid

The FBI – along with the ATX and Nashville police – raided a duplex on Saturday morning in Antioch, Tennessee, which is about a one hour’s drive northwest of Nashville. It was not clear if this was Quinn’s residence, although neighbor’s say that the home did have an RV matching the explosion RV that had been parked there.

No arrests have been made at this time, although the FBI said they will do whatever it takes to catch the person or people behind the bombing and have vowed to keep pursuing the case as long as necessary.

“This is our city, too. We’re putting everything we have into finding who was responsible for what happened here today,” FBI special agent Matt Foster said Friday after the explosion.

Nashville Skyline by kyle simourd is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What Was Behind the Nashville Bombing?

Although the investigation is still in its early stages, law enforcement sources reportedly are looking into whether the explosion was specifically targeting a building in the area including the AT & T building.

The explosion heavily damaged the AT & T building, bringing down phone and cell service all the way to Alabama and also cutting off access to 911 and emergency services for many people in Tennessee and neighboring states. Getting services back up could still take several days according to Nashville authorities.

Nashville’s Mayor John Cooper issued a curfew and state of emergency and the state of Tennessee has also requested emergency aid from Washington, but at this point the situation appears to not be in imminent danger of another attack.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said he walked through the damaged area and wrote that “the damage is shocking” and he was surprised no individuals appear to have been killed. At this point the human remains are still being investigated.

Nashville Police Chief John Drake says the city is not under threat anymore and there are no known follow up attacks expected, however airspace is still locked down and the Federal Aviation Administration has shut down the skies above Nashville due to national security restrictions arising from the bombing.

The flight restrictions will be in place against Wednesday and prevent pilots of any kind from entering the airspace around Nashville. Failure to follow this rule could result in the use of deadly force, with the FAA noting that:

“Pilots who do not adhere to the following procedures may be intercepted, detained, and interviewed by law enforcement/security personnel” and “the United States government may use deadly force against the airborne aircraft, if it is determined that the aircraft poses an imminent security threat.”