Federal agents descended on a suburban Tennessee home Saturday afternoon after receiving information relevant to the RV explosion Friday that injured three people in downtown Nashville and shook the city awake in the early hours of Christmas morning.
According to The Associated Press, both local and federal law enforcement officials were searching a home in a suburban area of Nashville, with one law enforcement official telling AP on the condition of anonymity that the home is connected to a person of interest in the investigation. Officials say they have received more than 500 tips since the explosion, which the Tennessee governor described early Friday morning as appearing intentional.
The FBI declined to publicly confirm to ABC News whether they have a person of interest. “There are a number of individuals that we’re looking at,” said FBI agent Doug Korneski. “At this point, we’re not prepared to identify any single individual.”
Residents of the neighborhood told The Tennessean, a local newsite, that an RV resembling the car bomb had been parked at the home as recently as within the last 14 days. An FBI agent told the news agency that no one was inside the home when investigators entered it.
BREAKING: This is the RV that exploded on 2nd Ave N this morning. It arrived on 2nd Ave at 1:22 a.m. Have you seen this vehicle in our area or do you have information about it? Please contact us via Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463 or online via https://t.co/dVGS7o0m4v. @ATFHQ pic.twitter.com/JNx9sDinAH
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 25, 2020
The blast was strong enough to shatter windows and affect communications systems in the area. The FAA has placed flight restrictions in the 1 mile radius of the blast site until late Wednesday, reports local news site WKRN.
No other explosives were found in the downtown Nashville area after the initial RV blast Friday morning, according to authorities. The Federal Emergency Management Agency confirmed Saturday that human remains were also found in the area of the explosion, but it’s unclear whether they are actually related to it or not, reports AP.
Some residents who live near the site of the blast have described a peculiar set of events leading up to the explosion, such as hearing gunshots that sounded as if they had been pre-recorded or designed to attract their attention, reports The Washington Post. Sometime after, a voice began emanating from an RV through a speaker, warning them they had 15 minutes to leave the area.
“It was saying, ‘This vehicle has a bomb, you must evacuate the area,’” said Kim Madlom, a 59-year old Nashville resident who fled before the blast.
Madlom told the Post that the RV exploded when she was on her way back home, about 20 minutes after the RV warned them that they had 11 minutes before the bomb would detonate. “We almost didn’t take it seriously,” said Madlom, whose building was severely damaged in the explosion. “Whoever did this certainly intended for us all to leave.”