A Nashville man said it was his ‘Christmas miracle’ that he and his dog escaped injury despite having been standing on the street right where the bomb went off.
David Malloy, of Nashville, was out for an early morning walk Friday with his dog when he saw police cars all around the street.
‘At 6:30 in the morning, you know, there’s not a quieter time downtown than Christmas morning,’ Malloy told WKRN.
‘I noticed there were police cars at each corner with their lights on. And the guy from the 21C hotel was running outside the building and saying we’ve got to evacuate.’
David Malloy is seen taking shelter moments after the bomb detonated in the Nashville street where he had been walking his dog on Christmas morning
Malloy (pictured) said that he was walking his dog at 6.30am when he was approached by a police officer who told him to evacuate, seconds before the bomb went off
Malloy said that while he was on the street with his dog, a police officer walked towards him telling him to evacuate.
‘When I said, “why do I need to evacuate” and then boom, the bomb went off,’ Malloy said.
A surveillance camera inside a building lobby caught the moment when the officer approached Malloy and the bomb exploded.
A second surveillance camera caught the moment right after the explosion, when Malloy and his dog are seen bursting into a store to take shelter inside.
‘We were really fortunate that we didn’t get hurt,’ Malloy told the news station of himself, his pet and the officers who were on the street with him at the time, although he added it ‘obviously scared the crap out of us.’
He considers himself ‘so lucky’ to have not been injured during the incident, saying that ‘it’s my Christmas miracle I’ll tell you that.’
When watching the surveillance camera footage from his building, Malloy said that he realized his back door was blown open by the explosion.
Malloy said that prior to the explosion, he recalled hearing a warning message coming out of the RV where the bomb had been hidden.
The RV which exploded on Christmas morning is pictured. Police are now purportedly investigating whether it belonged to Anthony Quinn Warner
Nashville’s Christmas Day bombing left three people injured and caused severe damage to the city’s downtown. The blast emanated from a white RV. A Google Street View photo of the home linked to a person of interest – Anthony Quinn Warner – shows a similar looking vehicle parked outside his property prior to the blast
Federal agents are seen on Saturday outside a Nashville home which has been linked to Warner
He said that he thought the recording was actually coming from a police car and that it was ‘was saying something to the effect of do not approach this vehicle, stand away.’
On Saturday, the day after the blast, the FBI was reported to have identified a person of interest in the bombing that left three people injured and caused severe damage to the city’s downtown.
CBS has identified the man as local resident Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, but they did not not say whether he had been taken into custody.
According to the network ‘at least two tips were called in to the FBI about Warner prior to the explosion.’
Friday’s blast emanated from a white RV parked outside the AT&T building on 2nd Avenue at 6.40 am.
Meanwhile, on Saturday afternoon, federal agents were pictured outside a Nashville home which has been linked to Warner.
Interestingly, neighbors reported seeing a white RV parked outside his property within the past two weeks. A similar vehicle can also been seen on a Google Street View search of Warner’s address.
Neighbors reported seeing a white RV parked in his driveway
A member of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is seen outside the home
The blast injured three people and caused severe damage to the city’s downtown area
The blast occurred Friday morning in downtown Nashville after a bomb detonated from inside a white RV. On Saturday, police searched outside a home in the city’s southeast linked to Anthony Quinn Warner. Old Google Street View images show a similar looking vehicle out front
During a press conference on Saturday afternoon, the FBI refused to identify any person in their investigation.
They say they are still pursuing approximately 500 leads and have close to 250 agents and analysts assigned to the case.
The Bureau is also investigating whether the blast was deliberately designed to target law enforcement officers.
Cops had been called to 2nd Avenue shortly before the explosion amid reports of a shooting. However, they arrived to find the white RV playing a recorded announcement saying that it would explode in 15 minutes.
One expert is now theorizing that the spooky recording was designed to bring as many cops and first responders as possible into the area with the intention of killing or maiming them.
‘I kind of think it was probably an idea to get first responders to come in,’ ex-NYPD Detective Bill Ryan told Fox News on Saturday.
Six cops have now been hailed as heroes after the descended on the area and tried to clear out pedestrians and residents before the bomb went off.
On Saturday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee revealed that he has requested an emergency declaration from President Trump to support ongoing efforts and relief.
‘This morning I toured the site of the bombing. The damage is shocking and it is a miracle that no residents were killed. I continue to pray for those who sustained injuries from the blast,’ he wrote on Twitter.
It comes as Nashville police confirmed that they are investigating whether human remains have been found at the site of the bomb blast.
According to CNN, tissue was discovered at the scene, and forensic experts are now working to determine whether it is human.
It is unclear whether anybody was inside the RV at the time it detonated.
The gigantic blast caused damage to more than 40 buildings, with new videos showing the widespread impact it created.
One shocking clip shared on social media shows an apartment building violently shaking during the blast.
A resident told CNN on Saturday: I’ve never seen anything like it. It shook everything’
Meanwhile, other videos being shared widely on social media show people hiding for cover in buildings along 2nd Avenue as they were warned by cops that the RV could explode.
This was the scene immediately after the explosion on Friday morning in downtown Nashville
On Saturday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration classified the airspace over the site of the bombing as “National Defense Airspace’.
The order prohibits pilots from flying over the site and a surrounding area of one nautical mile. The restriction will stay in place until December 30.
Meanwhile, the area on the ground has still been cordoned off and there is a strong police presence.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper says it will be ‘some time’ before 2nd Avenue is open as normal.
On Friday evening, he announced curfew on the area around the bomb site as the investigation continued.
‘A curfew will start at 4:30pm, Friday Dec 25. and be lifted Sunday, December 27 at 4:30pm,’ he revealed in a tweet.
The blast blew in windows from at least 41 buildings, according to CNN. One building is now partially collapsed.
The RV was parked outside an AT&T facility, with the explosion causing network outages to the company’s phone and internet services.
That issue sparked safety fears as 911 dispatchers were reportedly having trouble identifying the location of callers.
USA Today reports on Saturday that outage issues lasted into the evening. It is now believed they have all been resolved.
As of Saturday morning, the area has still been cordoned off and there is a strong police presence in the area
Nashville Mayor John Cooper says it will be ‘some time’ before 2nd Avenue and the surround downtown area is open as normal
Meanwhile, more information is being learned about the hero cops who tried to clear the area after they arrived to find the RV playing a recording saying it would explode.
They were named by Metro Police Chief John Drake as Officer Brenna Hosey, Officer James Luellen, Officer Michael Sipos, Officer Amanda Topping, Officer James Wells and Sergeant Timothy Miller, as he praised them for rushing into danger to save others.
The officers had been responding to reports of shots fired 40 minutes before the explosion when they found an RV located outside of an AT&T transmission building which was playing an announcement featuring a woman’s voice saying it would explode in 15 minutes.
There was no evidence of shooting at the scene and it is not known of the sounds could also have come from the RV’s recording. Cops have not revealed who made the initial shooting report.
They rushed to get people out of their homes while the ominous, pre-recorded message played over and over again with music playing inbetween each countdown, before the van eventually exploded at round 6.40am.
‘These officers didn’t care about themselves,’ Chief Drake said. ‘They didn’t think about that. They cared about the citizens of Nashville. They went in and we’d be talking not about the debris that we have here but potential people.’
Despite the devastation of the blast, miraculously only three people were injured.
They were rushed to hospital in non-life threatening conditions.
This is what is left of Second Avenue in downtown Nashville after the explosion on Friday morning. Police have not yet identified a suspect
An aerial view of the scene in downtown Nashville on Friday morning after an ‘intentional’ explosion came from a parked car
The scale of the debris was enormous. All of 2nd Avenue between The entire street on second avenue was covered with it
FBI Special Agent in charge Matt Foster made a plea to the public for information on Friday night.
‘The FBI stands with the city of Nashville today in this very tragic Christmas Day event.
‘This is our city too. We live here, we work here. We’re putting everything we have into finding who was responsible for what happened here today.
‘There are leads that need to be pursued and technical works need to happen.’
Anyone with information about the incident has been asked to contact the FBI at www.fbi.gov/nashville or by calling them.
On Friday night, star of CNBC’s The Profit Marcus Lemonis also offered a $250,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the culprit.
It brought the reward total to $300,000 after previous smaller reward offers from Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., FOX Sports host Clay Travis, and Lewis Country Store.
Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020
A law enforcement member walks past damage from an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020
A vehicle burns near the site of an explosion in the area of Second and Commerce in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. December 25, 2020. It’s unclear if this was the vehicle that caused the blast or not