Nashville mayor sees “a lot of momentum” in bombing investigation


Washington — Nashville Mayor John Cooper said Sunday he believes there is a “lot of momentum” in the ongoing investigation into the bombing that rocked a section of Nashville on Christmas Day.

“Everybody feels like there is a lot of momentum behind the investigation,” Cooper said in an interview with “Face the Nation.” “I expect a lot of questions will be answered relatively soon. We’ve got hundreds of agents on the ground working very hard.”

Cooper said the public is “anxious” to understand the circumstances of the bombing better.

“It’s so shocking that on Christmas morning, this time of greatest hope, you have a bombing, a deliberate bombing, how can this be?” he said.

The explosion occurred early Christmas morning, after police responded to calls of shots fired near an AT&T building in downtown Nashville. Upon arrival, law enforcement found an RV with clothes and blinds covering the windows, and at around 6:30 a.m. local time, the vehicle detonated. At least three people were injured, and human remains were found near the site of the explosion, though it’s unclear whether they are from someone connected to the blast or a victim.

Nashville resident Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, has been identified as a person of interest in the case, multiple sources confirmed to CBS News, and he had a similar make and model RV as the vehicle seen in photos made public.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski said Saturday there is no indication of additional explosive threats. Cooper said that while the bombing took “all of us by surprise,” especially given that it occurred on Christmas, he feels “confident” in repeating what investigators have said — that the threat is over and Nashville is safe.

“I think they wouldn’t have said that unless they were very confident that that is true,” he said.

Police believe the bombing was an intentional act, though it’s unclear what the motivation behind the incident is.

Cooper, however, said there “has to be some connection to the AT&T facility and the site of the bombing,” as the RV that exploded was parked adjacent to the building. The blast disrupted service for AT&T customers throughout Tennessee and into parts of Kentucky and Alabama.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee asked President Trump to declare an emergency disaster for the state in response to the incident, which would allow federal assistance to flow to the area. Mr. Trump has yet to respond.

Cooper said the city and scores of affected businesses, which are still weathering the coronavirus pandemic, will need help to rebuild.

“The businesses there, going through COVID they’ve had the worst nine months that you could have as a business, and now to be affected by the bombing, of course they need help,” he said. “We may need some help in hardening our infrastructure.”

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