Federal agents said Saturday that they do not yet know who did Christmas day explosion It passes through the city’s downtown, manages the storefront, injuring three people and going mysterious with the intention of leaving the city.
Investigators were tracking more than 500 clues, working together before an RV – apparently rigged with explosives and parked on a street in the tourist district – exploded in the early hours of Christmas. done. The explosion devastated the neighborhood, which regularly draws thousands of people each night, and officials said the city was lucky that no one was killed.
FBI Special Agent in charge of the Memphis office, Doug Kornesky, told a news conference that more than 250 FBI employees were working on the case, but he still had many unanswered questions.
“Our investigation team is commissioning each stone to ensure that we know as many details as possible to answer who is responsible for it, and also to understand why they did so. did?” he said.
Mr. Kornsky confirmed that federal agents were in Antioch in the neighborhood of Nashville, where Video deployment of Online investigators were shown walking around a brick building by a reporter from The Tensanian newspaper. Images of the building, captured from Google Street View from March and May of 2019, show an RV in the yard that appears to be similar to a cop that was detonated.
Mr. Kornsky and other officials indicated at the news conference that it was still unclear how many people were involved in the crime.
A warning from the RV before the explosion that was very thoughtful about the motive of the culprit in chilling detail. A message, which a witness recalled with a mechanical, female-sounding voice, warned that a bomb would explode within 15 minutes, then the countdown began with music, police said. Officers arrived at the scene before dawn to check for reported bullets, and they were scrambling to clear the area of people when the RV exploded.
Among the damaged buildings was an AT&T transmission building, which caused an extensive service outage that continued on Saturday. Cellphone service was down and 20 or more 911 call centers were affected in parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama, Tennessee Governor Gov. Lee said. A communication interruption led the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily stop flights from Nashville International Airport.
Here’s what to know about the explosion.
There was a warning before the explosion.
Before the explosion, Betsy Williams said she heard what she thought were gunshots on Friday morning, then saw the RV across the street from her apartment.
“It started playing this message,” she recalled. “Now I will empty it. This vehicle has a bomb and will explode. Now empty it. “”
When the voice countdown began, Ms. Williams said, she and her family left their apartment and fled to safety.
“It’s not bad weather or fire or anything like that,” she said. “You’re going, ‘Okay, is this real?” Well, it was.
Police called the bomb squad to the scene, but by then it was too late. The RV exploded at around 6:30 p.m. Ms. Williams saw the explosion from afar.
No suspects have been identified.
It is not yet clear who carried out the attack, but police released a photo of the RV, stating that its driver stopped the vehicle in front of the AT&T Transmission Building on Second Avenue North at 1:22 a.m. Friday. gave. The building is a few blocks from the phone company’s Landmark Office Tower in the city. The image shows the vehicle moving through downtown with its headlights, white camper illuminated by streetlights and flashing shops.
On Saturday, police were still trying to find out if there was anyone inside the RV when the explosion occurred. He said that he found what could be human remains in the blast area.
The site of the explosion is in the city along with other tourist destinations including Honorable Tonk, Restaurant & Hard Rock Cafe, Redneck Riviera Bar & Barbecue and Honky Tonk Bus Tour Company. Even when he vowed to track down the responsible person or people, officials said the explosion could have been much worse had it happened on almost any other night, when the sidewalks could have been filled with people.
The FBI field office in Memphis is leading the investigation, and the mayor issued an emergency order to keep people away from the blast site until Sunday. Many businesses and people with ties to Nashville have offered a reward to anyone who provides information to resolve the case.
The destruction was caused by AT&T outages and stalled flights.
The consequences of the explosion were far-reaching.
Broken glass and bricks were scattered about the city. The trees were charmed by the flames of the explosion and the main parts of the broken water were spewing water.
The explosion also damaged AT & T’s building, causing widespread service boycott on Saturday. Explosions in Tennessee, Kentucky and parts of Alabama affected some cell service, and disrupted the communication of 20 or more 911 call centers, Tennessee’s government Bill Lee said.
The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily flew from Nashville International Airport because the explosion occurred due to telecommunications issues. The FAA labeled the skies within a mile of the “National Defense Airspace” explosion, meaning pilots are prohibited from flying overhead without special authorization.
The widespread effects of those who felt the explosion are not surprising.
“The whole locality was shaken,” Lily Henson, sitting on a couch in her second-floor apartment a few blocks away. “It looked like something you’d see in a horror movie. I just can’t get the image out of my head. “
Buck McCoy, who lives less than a block from the site of the explosion, said the explosion destroyed his house.
“It just ripped my entire apartment apart,” he said. “There was not a part of the house that was not moved.”
Six officers who evacuated the site are being praised for saving lives.
The six police officers who knocked on the doors and instructed to evacuate the people living around the RV before the blast, were being taken to save their lives on Saturday.
US Attorney Donald Q. in Nashville at a news conference on Saturday. “They warned about a bomb when they were giving harsh warnings about a bomb,” said Cochran, but “literally endangered” when the officer responded to a gunshot.
“I am convinced that the cause of his actions was the low cost of living in this heinous act,” Mr. Cochran said.
in the middle Officer Two women and four men were in the experience category. Once officers were with the department for only 16 months, while another veteran was a sergeant who polished Nashville for 11 years. Chief John Drake credited them all.
“These officers didn’t care about themselves – they didn’t think about that,” Mr. Drake said on Friday. “They cared about the citizens of Nashville.”
The governor is seeking assistance from Trump.
Officials said at least 41 businesses – including several historic buildings – were damaged by the explosion and one collapsed across the road from the RV.
On Saturday morning, Mr. Lee, a Republican, visited the scene and Shared a letter He wrote to President Trump, asking him to declare an emergency disaster for Tennessee and send federal aid to help him recover, given the “severity and magnitude” of the destruction.
Mayor John Cooper, a Democrat, swore that Nashville would rebuild quickly.
The attack was intended to “create chaos and fear in this season of peace and hope,” Mr. Cooper said. He said that despite the destruction, the city appeared to survive a deadly attack as it happened on Christmas.
“On any other morning, it would have been a very bad story, to be sure,” he said.
Lucy Tompkins and Rick Rosas contributed reporting, and Ellen Delquarier contributed to the research.