Metro Nashville Police said that they found possible human remains at the explosion site and that the motive behind the incident is still unclear.
“We have tissue that we believe could be [human] remains and we’ll just have that examined,” Chief of Police John Drake told reporters during a press conference on Friday afternoon.
He didn’t elaborate on where the possible human remains were found.
He said police officers arrived before the explosion happened and found a dire message being broadcast from the now-exploded RV about 15 minutes prior to the blast.
The officers were able to evacuate the area successfully.
“They heard an RV giving out a message, basically saying that it was going to detonate within a certain timeframe,” he said. “Officers immediately began knocking on doors evacuating residents here, not knowing that the bomb was going to detonate immediately, or if it’s going to go off to the time that it was stated.”
He praised the police officers for their courageous acts.
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Drake said the explosion was a total surprise and the police didn’t get any advance notice before the event.
“I thought maybe it was going to be a propane explosion of explosives from an RV and it turned out to be an intentional act,” he said.
“We have not received any threat whatsoever,” he added.
An RV exploded at around 6:30 a.m. CT on Friday in front of 166 2nd Ave N in downtown Nashville. The explosion shook the largely deserted streets of the area early Christmas morning, shattering windows, damaging buildings, and wounding three people. Authorities said they believed the blast was intentional.
The police didn’t confirm if there were people inside the RV when it exploded. There are no known fatalities for now.
The motive behind this incident is still unknown, the police said.
“I don’t want to speculate but he would think that this person didn’t want to harm people, maybe just wanted to destroy. But we’re not sure until we get further into the investigation,” Drake stated.
William Swann, director-chief of Metro Nashville Fire Department, told reporters that one building collapsed due to the explosion and the integrity of other buildings on the block is in question because of their age.
The Metro Nashville Police Department released a photo of the suspected RV earlier the day. Various law enforcement departments urged people who have seen the vehicle or have information about it to contact the Metro Nashville Police Department Crime Stoppers by calling 615-742-7463 or provide information to FBI Memphis via their website.
The explosion caused widespread communications outages that took down police emergency systems and caused flights to be grounded.
The flights out of Nashville International Airport (BNA) are resuming after being temporarily halted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the airport said in an update on their social media platform.