Sources told the Associated Press, authorities found human remains near downtown Nashville’s explosion site. The explosion went off early on Christmas Day that seemed intentional and meant to limit casualties, officials say.
Fox News reported the bomb shook a mostly empty street in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, at around 6:30 AM on Friday in what local officials and the FBI confirmed was an “intentional act.”
Authorities confirmed gunfire was heard an hour before the blast outside an AT&T building in the downtown area of Nashville – between First and Second Avenues.
Officers were warned, “If you can hear this, evacuate now,” blasting from a loudspeaker in a van when they arrived on the scene. The explosion’s surveillance footage seemingly reveals the pre-recorded message that warned people to evacuate the area.
Police officers then began to alert people to flee the area before the bomb went off. The bombing injured at least two officers – one slightly injured, and the other experienced hearing loss.
The explosion’s early timing, along with the pre-recorded warning message, indicate that the bombing was planned to limit casualties and meant mostly to damage properties.
Nashville police officers then immediately brought bomb-sniffing dogs to sweep the area for more bombs but found none.
“We’re putting everything we have into finding who was responsible for what’s happened here today,” FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Matt Foster said during a press conference.
Local hospitals reported no casualties. Nashville Police Chief Drake claimed his investigators feel there’s no more concern to the downtown area.
NBC said that the president is being informed about the investigation.
Nashville Democrat Mayor John Cooper faces criticisms for jesting on the incident when he told media that authorities went to the scene to “make sure this is the only explosion that’s gonna happen in Nashville today.” The mayor then joked that the gushing water made the scene look dramatic.
Local police authorities also released the vehicle photo allegedly used to transport the bomb to ground zero.