Records say Nashville PD alerted to bomb-making a year before attack

According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, this is the RV that exploded at 6:30 a.m. on Friday, outside 166 2nd Avenue North in downtown Nashville. Photo via Metro Nashville Police Department/UPI

Dec. 30 (UPI) — The girlfriend of a suicide bomber who detonated his RV in downtown Nashville on Christmas Day alerted police he was making explosives inside the vehicle more than a year before the attack, police records indicate.

The records — obtained by The Tennessean and WSMV-TV on Wednesday– showed that Anthony Quinn Warner’s girlfriend told police in August 2019 that she feared for his safety and that he “frequently talks about the military and bomb making.”

Nashville police identified Quinn as the man who drove an RV into downtown Nashville and detonated a bomb inside last Friday, damaging dozens of businesses and killing himself. Police were able to evacuate most people from the area before the explosion, though eight were injured.

After the bombing, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Quinn was “not on our radar,” but the police documents showed the Metro Nashville Police Department and FBI both investigated the 2019 tip from his girlfriend.

The police report indicates Warner’s lawyer, Raymond Throckmorton III, alerted them that his client’s girlfriend had made suicidal remarks over the telephone. When they arrived at her home, she was sitting on the porch and had two unloaded firearms with her.

She told police she didn’t want the guns, which belonged to Warner, in her home any longer and that she didn’t feel safe. She also told them that Warner was building a bomb in an RV on his property.

The police report said the woman was taken by ambulance for a psychological evaluation because she was experiencing a mental health crisis.

Police then went to Warner’s residence, but he didn’t answer the door. They observed the RV on his property, but couldn’t get close to it because of a fence. Warner later refused to allow police onto his property.

Nashville police alerted the FBI about their investigation and asked for a background check, which found no records.

“They saw no evidence of a crime and had no authority to enter his home or fenced property,” MNPD spokesman Don Aaron told The Tennessean.

“At no time was there any evidence of a crime detected and no additional action was taken. No additional information about Warner came to the department’s or the FBI’s attention after August 2019.”

The FBI has been investigating the Christmas Day bombing, but was expected to hand the case over to Nashville police on Wednesday, police representatives told WSMV. Officials said the street where the bombing took place, Broadway, was expected to reopen Wednesday, as well.

Meanwhile, British singer Petula Clark said Tuesday she was shocked to hear that the rigged RV played her song “Downtown” over speaker before the explosion. In addition to the song, the RV played a message saying it would detonate in 15 minutes, giving police time to evacuate the area before the blast.

“I feel the need to express my shock and disbelief at the Christmas Day explosion in our beloved Music City. I love Nashville and its people. Why this violent act — leaving behind it such devastation?” Clark posted on Facebook.

“A few hours later — I was told that the music in the background of that strange announcement — was me — singing “Downtown”! Of all the thousands of songs — why this one?”

Clark said she wanted to “wrap my arms around Nashville” and “give you all a hug.”


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