Authorities: Vehicle was broadcasting warning message prior to downtown Nashville explosion


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation into what authorities believe was an intentional explosion early Christmas morning in downtown Nashville which sent three people to the hospital.

During a news update at noon Friday, authorities said they do not believe there is cause for concern for residents of the downtown area. Local, state and federal authorities have been sweeping the area of Second and Commerce Street for several hours as a precuation and evaluating the damage left behind from the blast, they said.

They are also searching for other individuals who may have been injured in the explosion.

According to reporting by WTVF, the vehicle was outside 166 Second Avenue North, the location of an AT&T data center. The explosion created an outage for AT&T, affecting phone and internet service acorss the area, including several 911 lines.

According to police, it all began just before 6 a.m. Friday when officers received a call regarding shots being fired. They did not find any evidence of a shooting, but said they did come across a RV which was broadcasting a message warning of a potential bomb that would detonate within 15 minutes.

Officers called in the bomb squad and were going door-to-door evacuating those nearby when an explosion ripped through the area at 6:30 a.m. At least one officer was knocked to the ground and three people total were taken to nearby hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

It’s unclear if anyone was inside the RV at the time of the explosion, authorities said.

Counselors have been called in to evaluate the officers that were on the scene to make sure they are okay. Authorities commended those officers, saying lives were saved because of their quick response to the danger.

Authorities said the crime scene is massive, reaching several city blocks. The ATF, THP and local authorities are all working with the FBI to quickly determine who was responsible and why this incident occurred. The TBI said they have agents and an accelerant detection K9 helping in the investigation.

The FBI has set up a tip website, which can be found here.

President Donald Trump was briefed on the situation early Friday morning and will continued to be as the investigation continues, White House Press Secretary Judd Deere said in a released statement.

“The President is grateful for the incredible first responders and praying for those who were injured,” he said.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said the state will supply the resources needed to investigate the explosion and find the person responsible. He called for prayers for those injured and gave thanks to the first responders.

Tennessee Rep. Antonio Parkinson also realsed the following statement:

“Please keep the city of Nashville in prayer,” he said. “Pray for our first responders and those affected by this morning’s intentional act of violence. We will not be detered by the sick, repulsive and selfish acts of terrorists whether internal or external. I pray that this administration does something other than to encourage this violent behavior. I pray even more that the next adminstration strikes with force to eliminate those that would try to intmindate the American people thought the use of such actions.”

This is a developing story.

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