The man authorities believe is responsible for detonating an RV in downtown Nashville on Christmas morning was present when the bomb exploded, officials said Sunday.
Authorities say they have not uncovered a motive for the bombing and that the man was not on the radar of law enforcement officials prior to the attack. The man, whose name has been withheld per Daily Wire policy, is believed to have acted alone.
“We’re still following leads, but right now, there is no indication that any other persons were involved,” said FBI special agent Doug Korneski at a press conference on Sunday afternoon. “We’ve reviewed hours of security video surrounding the recreational vehicle. We saw no other people involved around that vehicle.”
Investigators successfully matched DNA from the site of the explosion to DNA from a car connected to the suspect late Saturday night, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigations Director David Rauch.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake emphasized that there are no known threats against the city. “Nashville is considered safe,” said Drake. Authorities will continue to put a curfew around the area surrounding the blast site, but Drake said this curfew zone will become progressively smaller as investigators gather the evidence they need from the area.
The Christmas Day explosion jolted the city awake on Friday morning and disrupted communications lines in the area. Some residents who live near the blast site described waking up to the sound of gunfire and then hearing a warning to leave the area emanating from an RV.
“It was saying, ‘This vehicle has a bomb, you must evacuate the area,’” Kim Madlom, a 59-year old Nashville resident who fled before the blast, told The Washington Post. “Whoever did this certainly intended for us all to leave,” she added.
In the days since the explosion, members of the public have submitted hundreds of tips, which investigators say have been crucial to quickly identifying a suspect for the crime. Korneski emphasized that anyone who may have known or encountered the suspect should submit tips to the FBI to help in its ongoing investigation.
“Though we may be able to answer some of these questions as our investigation continues, none of those answers will ever be enough for those who have been affected by this event,” said Korneski.
Authorities have declined to call the bombing an act of domestic terrorism, noting that such a designation would require knowing that the suspect had a motive tied to a broader aim. “When we assess an event for domestic terrorism, it has to be tied to an ideology. It’s the use of force or violence in the furtherance of a political, social ideology or bent. We haven’t tied it to that yet,” said Korneski.
This article has been expanded after publication to include additional information.
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