State Watch

Officials say they’re looking into 500 ‘investigative leads’ following Nashville explosion

A federal official said Saturday that law enforcement is looking into more than 500 investigative leads following the Christmas Day explosion of a vehicle in Nashville, Tenn. 

During a press conference in the area Saturday, Douglas Korneski, FBI special agent in charge of the Memphis, Tenn., field office, declined to confirm any specific person behind the explosion, which injured at least three people and destroyed at least 41 businesses.  

“We have over 500 investigative leads, and we’re following up on every one of those,” Korneski said. “So, they’re a number of individuals that we’re looking at.” 

CBS News and the Nashville Tennessean reported that officials identified a suspect on Saturday, citing law enforcement sources. CBS reported that Nashville area resident Anthony Quinn Warner had a similar make and model RV to the one that exploded.

Nashville police officers responded to an emergency call of gunshots in the downtown area around 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 25 and found an RV playing a recording warning that a bomb was going to explode. The vehicle exploded around 6:30 a.m.

Officials said Friday that the explosion was “an intentional act.” Both the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are continuing to investigate the event. 

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said earlier Saturday that he requested federal assistance from President Trump, writing in a letter that “effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and local governments.”

During the press conference, U.S. Attorney Donald Cochran described the scene of the explosion as “a giant jigsaw puzzle created by a bomb that throws multiple pieces of evidence across city blocks,” adding that investigators have to “gather it … and put it back together and try to figure out what the picture of that puzzle looks like.”

Authorities investigating the RV explosion have said the target of the attack may have been a nearby AT&T building, though no confirmations have been made about a specific motive, CBSN reported.

Nashville Fire Chief William Swan said that AT&T is working on reestablishing its communication lines after they were damaged in the blast.

Tags AT&T Car bomb Donald Trump Explosions nashville Tennessee The Tennessean

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