Suspect in Nashville explosion died in blast, officials say – Press-Enterprise

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The man believed to be responsible for the Christmas Day bombing that tore through downtown Nashville blew himself up in the explosion, and appears to have acted alone, federal officials said Sunday.

Investigators used DNA and other evidence to link the man, identified as Anthony Quinn Warner, to the mysterious explosion but said they have not determined a motive. Officials have received hundreds of tips and leads, but have concluded that no one other than Warner is believed to have been involved in the early morning explosion that damaged dozens of buildings.

“We’re still following leads, but right now there is no indication that any other persons were involved,” said Douglas Korneski, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Memphis field office. “We’ve reviewed hours of security video surrounding the recreation vehicle. We saw no other people involved.”

In publicly identifying the suspect and his fate, officials disclosed a major breakthrough in their investigation even as they acknowledged the lingering mystery behind the explosion, which took place on a holiday morning well before downtown streets were bustling with activity and was accompanied by a recorded announcement warning anyone nearby that a bomb would soon detonate.

No motive was disclosed by investigators nor was it revealed why Warner had selected the particular location for the bombing, which damaged an AT&T building and has continued to wreak havoc on cellphone service and police and hospital communications in several Southern states as the company worked to restore service.

Warner, who public records show had experience with electronics and alarms and who had also worked as a computer consultant for a Nashville realtor, had been linked to the bombing since at least Saturday when federal and local investigators converged on a home in suburban Nashville linked to him.

Federal agents could be seen looking around the property, searching the home and the backyard. A Google Maps image captured in May 2019 had shown an RV similar to the one that exploded parked in the backyard, but it was not at the property on Saturday, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.

On Sunday morning, police formally named Warner as being under investigation.

Officials said their identification of Warner involved several key pieces of evidence, including DNA found at the explosion site. Investigators from the Tennessee Highway Patrol also recovered parts from the recreational vehicle where the bomb was detonated among the wreckage from the blast, and were able to link the vehicle identification number to an RV that was registered to Warner, officials said.

The case has a Southern California connection, a newspaper reported. A Los Angeles entertainment executive reportedly received two houses in Tennessee free of charge from Warner.

The Daily Mail reported late Saturday that a house worth $249,000 was transferred to 29-year-old Michelle Swing in January 2019 by Warner, and another $160,000 home was transferred to Swing last month.

Swing reportedly transferred the first house to another person.

The $160,000 house was raided by FBI agents Saturday as part of the investigation into the bombing. Swing told the Daily Mail she had no knowledge of the most recent transfer.

“In the state of Tennessee you can deed property to someone else without their consent or their signature or anything,” Swing told the paper. “I didn’t even buy the house he just deeded it over to me without my knowledge. So this all very weird to me, that’s about all I can say.”

Deadline reported Sunday that Swing was an artist development director at AEG Presents and a former StubHub executive. WBIR in Nashville reported that Swing is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, and previously had a Lenoir City, Tennessee, address.

A spokeswoman for the FBI’s Los Angeles field office told City News Service that the case was being handled by the agency’s Memphis office. A spokeswoman for the Memphis office said the agency would not comment on an ongoing investigation.

FBI officials asked anyone who knew Warner or might be familiar with his motives to contact the agency.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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