Friday, January 22

Anthony Quinn Warner is identified as responsible for the Nashville bomb


(CNN) — Anthony Quinn Warner has been identified as the Nashville shooter, US Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee said during a news conference Sunday night.

“We have concluded that an individual named Anthony Warner is the attacker. He was there when the bomb went off and then he died, ”Cochran said.

DNA taken from the scene was compared to Warner’s by forensic analysts, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch said.

He had already been named ‘person of interest’ in the investigation

Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake named Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, of Antioch, Tennessee, as a key person in the investigation of the explosion of an RV in Nashville on Christmas morning.

“That’s one person of interest, there could still be several more,” Drake said.

Authorities believe Warner’s remains were found at the scene of the blast, according to several law enforcement officials with direct knowledge of the investigation, who spoke to CNN on condition of anonymity.

The FBI await the results of the DNA tests to confirm the identity. Investigators collected DNA from relatives and at Warner’s home, which they began investigating on Saturday, according to sources.

Authorities have gathered other evidence that leads them to believe that Warner was driving the motorhome and was killed in the explosion, those officials told CNN, though they did not provide details on what that evidence is.

CNN has tried to contact members of Warner’s family but has received no response.

Authorities continue to investigate the Christmas morning explosion that dealt another blow to a city that its mayor says has already had its “most difficult year.”

Three people were injured in the blast early Friday and dozens of buildings were damaged. But authorities say more people could have been injured if not for the quick response of six police officers who evacuated residents after a disturbing recorded message from the motorhome warned that the vehicle would explode in minutes.

That is exactly what happened next. The blast tore through buildings, smashed windows and left the street littered with branches, glass and burning debris.

This is what we know so far.

What happened

Police said a square white motorhome arrived on 2nd Avenue North in downtown Nashville at 1:22 a.m. (2:22 a.m. Miami time) on Friday. Later, they tweeted an image of the vehicle.

Several hours later, a resident in the area said she woke up with what sounded like “an automatic weapon.”

When he heard the sound again, he called 911. Police claimed they were called to the scene after a shooting report around 5:30 am.

When officers responded to the scene, they found a white motorhome parked in front of an AT&T broadcast building that repeatedly issued a warning that an explosion would occur in 15 minutes, according to police.

A computerized voice warned residents to “evacuate now,” the witness recalled.

Nashville police officers involved in the response told reporters Sunday morning that the recording changed as they worked to evacuate residents from nearby buildings, giving a three-minute warning and playing the 1964 song “Downtown.” by Petula Clark.

The explosion occurred at 6:30 a.m.

Authorities searched for a house after the explosion

Public records show that Warner owned a home on Bakertown Road in Antioch until Nov. 25, 2020, when he signed a deed of resignation giving ownership of the home to a woman.

Federal investigators were at the home Saturday conducting “court-authorized activities,” FBI spokesman Jason Pack told CNN.

Pump technicians cleared the home to make sure it was safe for the test team before entering, Pack reported, but they did not confirm who lives at that address.

A tip about the vehicle involved in the blast led officers to the Bakertown Road home, a law enforcement officer told CNN.

A mobile home seen on Google Streetview in that home appears to match the image authorities released when they asked the public for information about the vehicle. Investigators believe the RV seen in the photos is the same one at the center of the blast, the police source said, but they cannot be sure because it was destroyed in the blast.

CNN’s analysis of Google Streetview images indicates that the vehicle has been on the property since at least April 2013.

Two neighbors told CNN that they had definitely seen the motorhome shown in Google’s satellite photos. They revealed that while they hadn’t been out much in the colder weather, they recall seeing him stationed there over the summer.

Warner had previously transferred another property on Bakertown Road to the same woman in 2019, according to public records.

Warner received an explosives handling permit in November 2013 that expired in November 2016, public records show.

He also received an alarm contractor license in November 1993, which expired in 1998, according to Tennessee licensing records.

Investigators suspect a suicide bombing

Investigators believe the blast was likely the result of a suicide bombing, according to two law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the investigation.

Officials also previously said they found tissue they believe may be human remains near the scene of the blast, and an FBI official said agents Saturday have no indication they are looking for another subject.

FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis field office, Douglas Korneski, told reporters Saturday that he could not “confirm any person or anyone we have identified,” adding that “at this time, we are not prepared to identify any person. ‘

There is also no indication of other “explosive threats” and no other explosive devices were discovered during a sweep of the area, Korneski added.

Investigators have not linked the explosion to terrorism

Officials have not linked the blast in any way to terrorism and, according to a federal source, there were no known credible threats in the Nashville area that would have signaled an imminent attack on or before Christmas.

A second law enforcement source said federal authorities are unaware of an increase in nationwide conversations by known extremist groups indicating credible plans to carry out attacks during the holidays.

While investigators continue to gather information on who may have been responsible for the blast and why they did it, one expert says the blast was likely not supposed to cause mass murder.

“What makes this so puzzling is the fact that the person or persons who conspired to do this do not appear to have an interest in causing any kind of massive casualties,” said James Gagliano, a retired FBI supervisory special agent and analyst. from CNN on Law and Order Compliance.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper said the explosion “clearly happened when no one was going to be around.”

“It would be a different message if it were 5 pm on a Friday,” the mayor commented. It seems intentional, but it seems unique.

CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz, Natasha Chen, Brian Stelter, Kay Jones, Eric Levenson, Paul P. Murphy, Hollie Silverman, and Evan Perez contributed to this report.

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