Human remains have reportedly been found near the site of the Christmas Day explosion that rocked downtown Nashville and shattered the windows of businesses and residences in the surrounding area.
The Associated Press, citing two law enforcement officials, reports that human remains were found in the area of the explosion but that investigators have not yet determined the origins of the remains. AP reports that those remains could be from a possible perpetrator, a blast victim, or completely unrelated to the Friday morning explosion.
Police said three people were hospitalized with injuries following the blast, reports the Nashville Tennessean. Authorities have not indicated a possible motive for the attack.
The explosion, which has cut off some communications systems in the area and has grounded planes departing from the local airport, occurred early Friday morning, shortly after an RV started blaring a warning that an explosion would happen soon.
“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.
A voice emanating from the RV through a speaker reportedly warned residents they had 15 minutes to leave the area. Madlom, who fled the area, was on her way back after 20 minutes had passed without anything happening. The RV exploded soon after that.
“We almost didn’t take it seriously,” said Madlom, whose building was severely damaged. “Whoever did this certainly intended for us all to leave.”
Governor Bill Lee (R-TN) said early Friday that authorities believe the act was “intentional,” and that it was under investigation by local, state, and federal officials.
We will supply all of the resources needed to determine what happened and who was responsible. Please join @MariaLeeTN and me in praying for those who were injured and we thank all of our first responders who acted so quickly this morning.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) December 25, 2020
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the explosion as well, and a spokesperson for Trump said the president will continue to receive updates on the investigation and is “grateful for the incredible first responders and praying for those who were injured.”
The Nashville Police Department released a photo of the RV, taken several hours before it detonated, asking the public to report any information they might know about 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
“It’s just sort of a terrible thing that it happened on a Christmas morning,” Tom Cirillo, a Nashville local who lives downtown, told The New York Times. “You’re lucky that it happened at the time that it did. I’m just wondering what exactly happened.”