Robert Wong, 68, was the victim, police said.
Friends on social media said Wong was an Air National Guard veteran and a grandfather.
"Robert Wong was always kind to everybody," a post from Martha Lanier Moore stated. "It is so sad to think he died in such a horrible way. He had a wife, daughter, grandson, family, many friends."
"R.I.P. my great friend from the Air National Guard of many years, Robert Wong," said a post from Donald L. Hawkins.
Friday evening, police were on Crepe Myrtle Drive in Hickory Hill where Wong's stolen Honda Odyssey van was found, looking for clues.
"We're very confident that the Honda's going to contain physical evidence that will lead us to the other ... suspects," a Memphis police spokesperson said.
Many neighbors on Crepe Myrtle Drive said they'd never seen the van in the area before.
One woman said she saw two men drive it to the dead-end street Friday morning.
Others say it's been a regular presence here at least for the last few days.
The van has seen some wear and tear — a dislodged front bumper, a flat front tire and some scrapes on the side, leading police to think whoever stole it might have crashed it.
Wong's homicide happened between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the 4100 block of Cochese.
Neighbors say Wong was home alone when a relative returned home and found his body.
No suspects are in custody at the moment.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at (901)-528-CASH.