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Investigators identify person of interest in Nashville explosion

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Wall Street Journal, December 2020

Investigators identified a Nashville, Tenn., resident as a person of interest in the bombing that hit the city Christmas morning, according to law-enforcement officials. Police on Saturday afternoon were searching 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner’s home for evidence, one of the officials said. A photo on Google Maps taken in May of 2019 of a home where Mr. Warner lived, according to records, shows a recreational vehicle in his yard. The Nashville explosion was caused by a bomb in an RV.

Mr. Warner couldn’t be immediately reached for comment. Nashville’s police chief previously said investigators were analyzing body tissue found near the scene to determine whether it was connected to the person who set off the blast.

At a news conference Saturday, federal investigators said they were reviewing more than 500 leads related to the explosion. Hundreds of law-enforcement officials swept the downtown neighborhood affected by the bomb and found no evidence of additional explosive devices, said Douglas Korneski, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Memphis office, which covers Nashville.

“There are a number of individuals that we are looking at,” said Mr. Korneski. “We’re looking at every possible motive that may be involved.” He said it was unclear whether one person or multiple people were responsible.

The Christmas morning explosion, which came after a sound system in the RV made announcements about a bomb inside, injured at least three people and damaged at least 41 buildings, one of which was destroyed, according to authorities. The three people were reported to be in stable condition.

Because of reports of shots fired and the suspicious RV before the explosion, police and emergency workers were on the scene and helped people evacuate from nearby buildings before the blast. “The severity and magnitude of the current situation is such that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, wrote in a letter to President Trump, asking him to declare the county surrounding Nashville as an emergency zone. The letter was dated Dec. 25 but released to the public on Saturday.

White House representatives didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Continue reading at the Wall Street Journal.

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