In the early hours of Christmas morning, an explosion rocked downtown Nashville, sent debris flying for blocks, and disrupted communications.
His explosives-packed RV produced an ‘indescribable blast’ that trashed buildings and businesses over a large radius, including the AT&T data center in front of which it was parked.
It is now confirmed that this was a suicide bombing.
The Instigator Has Been Identified.
Sixty-three year old Anthony Quinn Warner has been named as the person behind the explosion, and he was confirmed to have been killed in the blast.
His motives have not yet become clear.
Not many days previously, he reportedly told a neighbor that he would be famous and that Nashville would never forget him… hardly a unique sentiment in a town where people go to kickstart their music career. Who would have guessed he was planning to blow himself up before year-end.
Infamy is therefore on the list of possibilities. Others on the list? Hard to say for sure, but here are two possiblities that can’t yet be ruled out.
Warner’s father is reported to have worked for a company that has since merged with AT&T.
There is speculation that he’s conspiracy-minded and may have been part of the anti-5G movement, which could account for the emphasis on destruction rather than bodycount in the actual blast.
The Event Itself.
Nashville police urged nearby residents to get away as an ominous recording blared from a recreational vehicle. Suddenly the warning stopped, and Petula Clark’s 1964 hit “Downtown” started playing. Then the bomb went off. — DenverPost
Heroes Stepped Up.
We don’t know for sure if he had retained the animosity to the police that he had back in the Carter administration, but police certainly played a role in those final moments.
Six hero cops showed up on the scene, risking their lives, to get people out of harm’s way. One of them was only a few paces around the corner from taking the full brunt of the blast when it went off.
The Nashville police officers being hailed as heroes for saving lives during a massive Christmas morning bombing described on Sunday their quick actions to evacuate buildings as they raced against an eerie recording counting down to detonation and the Petula Clark song “Downtown” coming from a recreational vehicle packed with explosives.
“Immediately, they didn’t think about their own lives. They didn’t think about themselves. They thought about the citizens of Nashville and protecting them, and they went about knocking on doors,” Chief Drake said, as he introduced five of the six officers at a news conference. “Had they not made those efforts, we’d be talking about the tragedy of people and lives lost.”
Metro Nashville police officers James Luellen, Brenna Hosey, Michael Sipos, Amanda Topping, James Wells and Sgt. Timothy Miller were described as “heroes” by Drake and Nashville Mayor John Cooper. –MSN
In their own words…
Officer Brenna Hosey said she and her colleagues knocked on six or seven doors in nearby apartments to warn people to evacuate. She particularly remembered a startled mother of four children.
“I don’t have kids but I have cousins and nieces, people who I love who are small,” Hosey said, adding she had to plead with the family to leave the building as quickly as possible. — DenverPost
The Damage Done.
The infrastructure damage was broadly felt, due to an AT&T central office being affected by the blast. Police emergency systems in Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama, as well as Nashville’s COVID-19 community hot line and a handful of hospital systems were impacted.
The building contained a telephone exchange, with network equipment in it — but the company has declined to say exactly how many people were affected.
AT&T said Sunday it was rerouting service to other facilities as the company worked to restore its heavily damaged building. The company said in a statement that it was bringing in resources to help recover affected voice and data services and expects to have 24 additional trailers of disaster recovery equipment at the site by the end of the day.
Restoration efforts faced several challenges, which included a fire that forced their teams to work with safety and structural engineers and drilling access holes into the building in order to reconnect power. –DenverPost
More than the immediate damage to AT&T, there is significant damage to the surrounding buildings, including a number of businesses that will remain closed until they have been determined to be structually sound enough to be reopened.