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Nashville explosion: Camper van blast suspect named by police

Nashville explosion: Camper van blast suspect named by police thumbnail

Publishedduration55 minutes agomedia captionWatch the aftermath of the explosion in NashvillePolice investigating a camper van blast that injured three people in Nashville on Christmas Day have named a suspect after DNA was collected at the scene.Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, was present when the explosion occurred in the US state of Tennessee, officials say.They believe the…

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media captionWatch the aftermath of the explosion in Nashville

Police investigating a camper van blast that injured three people in Nashville on Christmas Day have named a suspect after DNA was collected at the scene.

Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, was present when the explosion occurred in the US state of Tennessee, officials say.

They believe the explosion may have been a suicide bombing and confirmed on Sunday that DNA samples from the site belonged to Mr Warner.

No motive for the powerful explosion has yet been established.

image copyrightReuters

image captionThe powerful explosion damaged buildings and felled trees

The blast on 25 December disrupted communications systems in Tennessee and four other states.

What are the latest developments?

During a press conference on Sunday, federal investigators said they believed that Mr Warner, who worked in IT and had extensive experience with electronics, was the sole individual responsible for the blast and had died at the site.

They said the blast was probably deliberate, and that it was Mr Warner’s remains discovered at the scene.

According to public records, Mr Warner had until recently lived in Antioch, a suburb of Nashville, where police searched a home on Saturday.

Neighbours also reported seeing a camper van at the premises, local media report.

Earlier, CNN reported that DNA samples had also been collected from members of the suspect’s family.

image copyrightReuters

image captionLaw enforcement officers searched a property in Antioch, near Nashville

FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski earlier said officials had received about 500 tips possibly relating to the explosion.

What happened in Nashville?

Officers responded to reports of gunshots just before 06:00 local time (12:00 GMT) on 25 December in an area of the city known for its restaurants and nightlife.

Shortly afterwards, they found a camper van broadcasting a warning message to leave the area.

Police said the van had also broadcast the 1964 hit song Downtown by British singer Petula Clark, the Tennessean newspaper reported.

The van exploded a few minutes later, the force of the blast knocking an officer off their feet, police said.

Police have released this image of the van – described by Nashville police as a recreational vehicle (RV) – arriving at the scene early on Friday.

The van blew up outside a building belonging to the telecoms giant AT&T, which also occupies an office tower nearby.

Buildings suffered structural damage, windows were blown out, and trees were felled. Videos posted on social media showed water from damaged pipes running down walls as alarms howled in the background.

Police emergency systems were knocked out across Tennessee.

Telephone, internet and fibre optic TV services were also disrupted in Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia, according to AT&T.

image copyrightReuters

image captionThe blast on 25 December disrupted communications systems in Tennessee and four other states

Resident Buck McCoy said he had been woken up by the blast. He posted a video on Facebook, showing some of the damage done, with alarms howling in the background.

“All my windows, every single one of them got blown into the next room. If I had been standing there, it would have been horrible,” Mr McCoy told AP. “It felt like a bomb. It was that big.”

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