Nashville Mayor John Cooper suggested that the suspect who detonated an explosive in a motor home in downtown Nashville on Christmas Day was targeting the AT&T facility nearby.
“Those of us in Nashville realize that on Second Avenue there is a big AT&T facility and the truck was parked adjacent to this large, historic AT&T facility, which happens to be in downtown Nashville,” Cooper said in a Sunday morning interview with CBS News. “And to all of us locally, it feels like there has to be some connection with the AT&T facility and the site of the bombing.”
He added that it’s “a bit of just local insight in because it’s got to have something to do with the infrastructure.”
The explosion is thought to have been the result of a suicide bombing. Human remains were reportedly found inside the vehicle.
Following the incident, wireless service went down in the region. AT&T is working to try and return service, Cooper added.
Cooper noted that of the AT&T transmission facility itself, “a lot of it probably survived” the blast. “But you have flooding after these events that gathers in basements,” the mayor added. “And so some of the problems may have been the result of the cure than from the bombing itself.”
The AT&T building, known locally as the “Batman Building” looms over a flooded downtown area in Nashville, Tenn., on May 4, 2010. (Jeff Gentner/Getty Images)
Of a motive or a person of interest in the case, Cooper remained mum and said an investigation is ongoing.
Over the weekend, throngs of federal agents were seen searching a home in Nashville for clues about the blast. Federal agents, meanwhile, were also attempting to identify apparent human remains found near the exploded vehicle.
“Once we have processed the scene, we will look at the evidence and anything that we have recovered from this residence and see how that fits into this investigation,” FBI spokesman Darrell Debusk told Reuters on Saturday. “At this point we’re not prepared to identify any single individual,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Doug Korneski said at a news conference on Saturday.
A Google Maps image taken in May 2019 shows a motorhome parked in the lot of the house of interest similar to the one in photo released by the Metro Nashville Police Department. (Screenshot via Google Maps)
Officials on Saturday declined to name a person of interest in connection with the explosion, but CBS News reported that the investigation has honed in on 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner, who recently lived at the Bakertown address, public records showed. According to a document posted online, on Nov. 25 he signed over the property to a woman in Los Angeles at no cost to her. The document was signed by Warner, but not by the woman.