The suspect was identified as an IT expert who announced his retirement shortly before the blast took place.
It seemed like a joyous Christmas morning until a recreational vehicle exploded in downtown Nashville which the authorities described as an "intentional act." Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said, “The explosion was significant, as you can see … The police department, its federal partners — the FBI and ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) — are conducting a large-scale investigation to this point,” as per Global News.
Initially, it was unclear if there was anyone inside the RV during the blast. Nashville Police Chief John Drake revealed that they had found “tissue that we believe could be remains” on Friday, December 25, after the blast which needed further examination to reach a conclusion. Now, the authorities have identified the man who was responsible for damaging several buildings and leaving three injured, as per People.
On Sunday, December 27, the FBI released the forensic test results of the human remains that were found on the site in a statement. "DNA examinations of tissue samples by both the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, were consistent to those of Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, of Antioch, Tennessee," reads a statement. "Crucial tips from the public" helped the Tennessee Highway Patrol to locate the RV's identification number and Anthony's home.
According to The New York Times, the suspect was an information technology specialist. One of his clients, Steve Fridrich, who described the IT Specialist as a "nice guy" told the outlet that he received an email from Anthony announcing his retirement. "... this seems uncharacteristic of the Tony we know. He was very professional and knew his stuff," Steve wrote in a text message.
The #FBI and #ATF are seeking info concerning the owner of the RV, Anthony Quinn Warner, linked to the explosion in downtown Nashville on Friday morning. Recognize him? Call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit tips online at https://t.co/hG6KFmQ7dG. @FBI @ATFHQ @ATFNashville pic.twitter.com/o8fqiHkATl— FBI Memphis (@FBIMemphis) December 28, 2020
CNN reported that the downtown Nashville community was shocked on Christmas morning when they heard gunshots. Then they heard a warning from the RV in a woman's voice that a bomb would be going off in 15 minutes right before the blast. Anthony was the sole casualty.
Rick Laude, the suspect's neighbor, told The Associated Press that he met his 63-year-old neighbor less than a week before Christmas. The information he disclosed further revealed how Anthony was as a person. Rick said that when he asked Anthony if Santa was going to bring him something for Christmas, with a smile the IT specialist replied, “Oh, yeah, Nashville and the world is never going to forget me," as cited by Global News.
As per Rick's account, Anthony was a "recluse" but “nothing about this guy raised any red flags. He was just quiet.” If reports are to be believed, the suspect intended to kill himself as he left behind many clues that prove that the bombing was planned. However, the motive is still unclear.
This afternoon, the FBI's Evidence Response Team and the ATF's National Response Team were collected evidence at the explosion scene. See more photos from the scene --> https://t.co/r1Qvt9QSya (Photos: FBI Memphis) pic.twitter.com/Vr4I3wnxE5— WSMV News4 Nashville (@WSMV) December 29, 2020
During an interview on NBC's Today show, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, David Rausch, said, “We hope to get an answer. Sometimes, it’s just not possible. The best way to find a motive is to talk to the individual. We will not be able to do that in this case.”
Special agent Doug Korneski who is in charge of the FBI’s Memphis field office divulged that officials are still investigating the case and interviewing Anthony's acquaintances in order to find the motive behind the blast. “We’re still following leads, but right now there is no indication that any other persons were involved. We’ve reviewed hours of security video surrounding the recreation vehicle. We saw no other people involved,” he said.
While President Donald Trump has not commented anything about the explosion to the media but has extended help with resources and support after speaking to Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, according to the governor's office. President-elect Joe Biden called the bombing “a reminder of the destructive power an individual or a small group can muster and the need for continued vigilance across the board.”