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Nashville Blast: 'Whoever Did It Gave Fair Warning'

Warning were broadcast from RV of an imminent explosion
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2020 1:50 PM CST

(Newser) – A strange new twist has developed in regard to the explosion that rocked downtown Nashville on Christmas morning. Police and witnesses say a recreational vehicle broadcast warnings that a bomb was in the vehicle and counted down a 15-minute warning before the explosion, reports the Tennessean. As of Friday afternoon, three people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries as authorities led by the FBI try to figure out what happened. Coverage:

  • The start: Police responded to a call of shots fired about 6am and discovered the "suspicious" RV parked on a street, reports the Washington Post. The bomb squad was en route when the explosion occurred about 6:30am, per the AP.
  • Warnings: Witnesses heard this coming from the RV: “Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode," according to the Tennessean. Then a 15-minute countdown began. “Whoever did it did gave fair warning,” says Betsy Williams, owner of the nearby Melting Pot restaurant. She and her family also live in the building, and they evacuated in their pajamas. Williams says she thinks the RV showed up Thursday night.

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  • Questions: Authorities don't know if anyone was in the RV when it exploded. Nor have they speculated on a possible motive. "We do believe this to have been an intentional act," says police spokesman Don Aaron said. "Significant damage has been done to the infrastructure there on 2nd Avenue North." CNN quotes a law enforcement source who says there were no known threats about a Christmas strike among extremist groups.
  • A promise: "We will find out who did this," Special Agent in Charge Matt Foster of the FBI said at an afternoon news conference. "This is our city, too. We're putting everything we have into finding who was responsible for what happened here today." President Trump has been briefed, reports WKRN.
  • Dog walker: Police began knocking on doors and telling people to evacuate in the minutes before the blast. One man walking his dog was directed away from the site moments before the explosion, notes the Post.
  • Damage: It will take time to assess, but several buildings sustained structural damage, and photos showed destroyed cars, scattered glass, broken water mains, and shards of metal strewn everywhere. "It looks like a bomb went off," says Mayor John Cooper.
(Read more Nashville stories.)

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