The way the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville was carried out was both chilling and atypical, a former military intelligence officer said.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my 38 years in law enforcement, where an individual who wants to bomb an area actually notifies potential victims to clear the area,” retired Lt. Steven Rogers, a former FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force member, told NTD.
“So clearly, this individual did not want to kill people. He wanted to minimize the loss of human life.”
A suspect, later identified as Anthony Quinn Warner, parked a recreational vehicle in downtown Nashville outside an AT&T facility early Dec. 25 before beginning to broadcast a warning of an impending explosion, giving police officers who responded to a shots-fired call time to evacuate people in the area. The explosion was major, but no one other than Warner died, and few injuries were reported.
The 911 call that brought officers to the neighborhood “was made to get as many police officers in that area as possible, not to kill them, obviously, but to get them to evacuate people from that area,” Rogers said.
The bomb went off at 6:29 a.m., severely damaging the AT&T building and affecting some 40 other structures. The explosion triggered outages across Tennessee and in portions of nearby states.
Rogers said the motive of the bomber is a key question. “Why commit such an atrocious act? Why take out half the city?” he said. “There’s more to this than what we’ve been told. And there’s probably more to this than what law enforcement knows at this point.”
“There are a lot of unanswered questions. But we do know this, that this individual was able to make a powerful enough bomb, to get enough equipment, to do the damage that he did. And that is very, very chilling,” Rogers added.
Warner’s father, now deceased, used to work for BellSouth, a company acquired by AT&T in 2006. Warner and his father lived in the same home, according to public records.
Officials named Warner as the suspect on Dec. 27, saying he was present when the bomb went off, and died in the explosion. They cited DNA evidence and other evidence gathered at the scene.
Doug Korneski, an FBI official, told reporters that officials don’t believe any other persons were involved. They’re still working on figuring out what motivated the bombing.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper has multiple times said the bombing appeared to be directed at the building owned by AT&T, which didn’t respond to a request for comment.
“If you live in Nashville, you have to think there has to be some connection,” Cooper, a Democrat, said on CNN on Dec. 28. “Why would you drive to Antioch to Second Avenue and park next to an AT&T facility?”
NTD reporter Miguel Moreno contributed to this report.