The FBI has confirmed that Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, is the prime suspect in the Nashville Christmas Day bombing, saying he died in an apparent suicide attack when an RV exploded outside of an AT&T building.
Local and federal officials said that remains at the scene were a DNA match to Warner, an eccentric IT worker who lived outside of Nashville, and that he is ‘the man believed responsible for Friday’s explosion.’
‘No one else is presently believed to have been involved,’ the Metro Nashville Police Department said in a statement on Sunday.
Police refused to comment on a possible motive, following reports that Warner harbored deep paranoia about 5G cell phone technology.
At an earlier press conference, police officers described how the RV, which was covered in cameras and loudspeakers, played an ominous warning about the impending explosion and as well as the classic soul hit ‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark just before the blast.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper on Sunday said he suspects that the AT&T transmission center was targeted in the attack, which wreaked havoc on phone systems in multiple Southern states on Christmas Day.
Nashville Chief of Police John Drake speaks at a news conference Sunday. The FBI has confirmed that Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, is the prime suspect in the Nashville Christmas Day bombing, saying DNA shows he died in an apparent suicide attack
This image taken from surveillance video provided by Metro Nashville PD shows the RV that was involved in a blast on Friday. Loudspeakers on the vehicle played the soul hit ‘Downtown’ before it detonated
Nashville Mayor John Cooper on Sunday said he suspects that the AT&T transmission center was targeted in the attack, which wreaked havoc on phone systems in multiple Southern states on Christmas Day
FBI and ATF agents investigate Warner’s home on Saturday. ‘No one else is presently believed to have been involved,’ the Metro Nashville Police Department said in a statement naming Warner as the prime suspect
Cooper told CBS News’ Face the Nation that it ‘feels like there has to be some connection to the AT&T facility and the site of the bombing’.
Law enforcement sources told CBS that Warner is believed to have died in the explosion as DNA tests are performed on the remains. The outlet reported that the FBI received at least two tips about Warner prior to the blast.
WSMV Nashville said that the FBI was digging into claims that Warner was paranoid about the idea that Americans are being spied on using 5G, which could explain the location of the explosion on 2nd Avenue North. One business owner on that street said he’d spotted a similar RV parked in the area multiple times in the past few weeks, suggesting that Warner may have ‘staked out’ the site of the attack.
FBI agents raided Warner’s home on Bakertown Road in Antioch on Saturday morning. Several neighbors described Warner as an ‘oddball’ and said they’d seen an RV parked outside the home which matched the one used in the attack.
DailyMail.com revealed that the $160,000 home had been transferred for free to 29-year-old Michelle Swing on November 25 – but she claims she was unaware of the exchange.
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Chilling video captured the moment the RV exploded outside Nashville’s AT&T building at about 6.40am Friday morning
Speaking to CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday, Nashville Mayor John Cooper said he suspects that the AT&T building was targeted in the attack
Smoke rises around the AT&T transmission center in downtown Nashville moments after the explosion on Friday morning
Warner gave his $160,000 house away for nothing a month before the blast, DailyMail.com exclusively revealed. The property is pictured with a white RV used in the bombing out front on Google Street View prior to the explosion
The two properties are located just a 15 minute drive from the street in downtown Nashville where the bomb exploded
Investigators remove items from the basement of the home in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday afternoon
Michelle Swing, a 29-year-old who lives in Los Angeles but previously lived in Tennessee, told DailyMail.com exclusively that she was unaware Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, had signed the $160,000 property away last month via a quitclaim deed
What we know about the bombing
- Cops responded to reports of shots fired in downtown Nashville at about 6am Friday and encountered an RV broadcasting a warning that a bomb will go off in 15 minutes
- Explosion erupted outside the AT&T building at about 6.40am, injuring three people, damaging dozens of structures and sparking widespread WiFi and cell phone outages across Tennessee and Kentucky
- Police identified Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, as a person of interest after FBI agents were seen swarming a home linked to him in Antioch
- The FBI is reportedly investigating claims that Warner was paranoid about 5G being used to spy on Americans, which could explain why the blast went off outside the AT&T building
- DNA confirmed Warner died in the blast, and the FBI says he acted alone
Media reports identified Warner as a person of interest on Saturday as FBI agents raided his home, where a vehicle matching the one used in the bombing was seen parked in Google street view images.
Police confirmed that Warner is in fact the main target of the probe on Sunday.
According to Newsweek, authorities will swab Warner’s mother to determine if he is a match to the remains found at the bomb site.
Agents also spent time searching another location on Saturday, as well as Warner’s home, and spoke to a Nashville real estate agent who called in to say Warner used to work for him.
Steve Fridrich told WSMV that Warner was a subcontractor who had done IT work for him for years. He claimed agents asked him about whether Warner had spoken about 5G in the past but he said no.
‘Nice guy. You know, he was a techie guy – don’t mean anything negative about that. He would do this thing and leave. He didn’t bother anybody. He did his thing and leave [sic],’ Fridrich said.
In a different interview with the Tennessean, Fridrich said Warner ‘seemed very personable to us – this is quite out of character I think’.
The Daily Beast reported that Warner was previously arrested in January 1978 and found guilty on an unspecified felony charge in 1980.
He has been described as an ‘oddball’ by neighbors, some of whom had reported seeing the RV used in the explosion parked outside of his home.
Tony Rodriguez lives in the second home within the duplex that agents raided on Saturday but told the Washington Post that he never spoke to his neighbor and did not know his name.
He alleged that Warner kept ‘No Trespassing’ signs around the home, especially around the RV, and was often seen tinkering with antenna above the house.
Rodriguez also claimed that investigators had taken a computer motherboard from Warner’s house during the search.
Another neighbor Steven Stone, 61, confirmed that he had seen a similar RV parked outside of Warner’s place.
‘When I looked out my window and saw all the law enforcement that’s when it hit me that I’d see the camper up there,’ he told USA Today.
The FBI was said to have received two tips concerning Warner prior to the explosion, including one from a person who reported that he was making bombs in his RV in August 2019, The Sun reported.
ATF and law enforcement members investigate the Christmas Day explosion that tore through downtown Nashville
FBI agents swarmed Warner’s $160,000 property on Saturday morning in their hunt for the mystery RV driver behind the devastating blast outside Nashville’s AT&T building in the early hours of Christmas morning
Federal agents are seen on Saturday at Warner’s home on Bakertown road in Antioch
A man whose business was destroyed in Friday’s explosion came forward on Sunday to suggest that Warner had been ‘staking out’ the area.
Peter Gibson, owner of Pride and Glory Tattoo, said he’s seen an RV parked outside his parlor several times in the past few weeks.
‘I can’t say if it was that one, but it was very similar,’ Gibson told WZTV.
‘Whoever it was, they’d been staking out and they’d been doing their laps and their routine, practicing for a couple of weeks, it seems.’
What we know about Anthony Quinn Warner
Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, was named by local media as the person of interest in the Nashville Christmas Day bombing. Unmarried and childless, Warner is listed as a Nashville resident who lived in the suburb Antioch.
A property linked to him since the 1980s was raided on Bakertown Road, Antioch on Saturday afternoon. This house was transferred for free to 29-year-old Michelle Swing on November 25 but she claims she was unaware of the exchange.
Warner had also transferred a $249,000 house on the same road to Swing for free in January 2019.
That house previously belonged to Warner’s father Charles, who died in 2011. It was transferred to Warner’s brother Steve before being passed to Warner in October 2018, a month prior to Steve’s death.
Warner’s mother Chris is still alive and he has a sister Teresa.
The Daily Beast reported Warner was arrested in 1978 and convicted of an unspecified felony charge in 1980.
Neighbors described Warner as an ‘oddball’ who was seen tinkering with antenna on his roof and placed ‘No Trepassing’ signs around his house.
FBI agents are said to be investigating tips that Warner was paranoid about spying on Americans through 5G.
He used the Bakertown Road address as the location of his business, Custom Alarms Electronics, which specialized in burglar alarms. The license for the business expired in 1998.
Warner then became a self-employed IT worker and carried out subcontract work for a local real-estate agent who spoke to FBI agents on Saturday.
Adding to the mystery over Warner were the revelations that he had transferred his Antioch home to Swing late last month via a quitclaim deed.
Swing, who lives in Los Angeles, said she was unaware of the transfer and her signature does not appear on the deed dated November 25.
‘In the state of Tennessee you can deed property to someone else without their consent or their signature or anything,’ Swing explained to DailyMail.com on Saturday.
‘I didn’t even buy the house he just deeded it over to me without my knowledge.
‘This all very weird to me, that’s about all I can say.’
She declined to say whether she had ever met Warner or whether she had family links to him, adding: ‘I’ve been told to direct everything else to FBI.’
Warner reportedly informed Swing of the home transfer in a letter, which she handed over to the FBI.
In the letter Warner said that he ‘intended to travel on Christmas Eve to spend a few weeks in the woods with his dogs’, the Sun reported.
He also offered a few details about his property before concluding with a bizarre line: ‘The attic has plywood and lighting, take a look. The basement is not normal, take a look. Woof woof Julio.’
Records show Warner also transferred another home on Bakertown Road to Swing via a quitclaim deed in January 2019.
The $249,000 house had previously belonged to a member of his family and Warner had only been in possession of it for five months before again giving it to Swing for free. She later also used a quitclaim to give the house to another person.
The house was originally owned by Warner’s father Charles but was passed to Warner’s brother Steve after Charles’ death in 2011.
Steve died of cancer in September 2018, a month after Warner acquired the house.
Court records show Warner’s mother Chris tried to stop the transfer of the second home last year after accusing her son of acting in his own interest as Steve’s power-of-attorney before his death, according to the Tennessean. Chris later dropped the case against her son.
Swing’s address in the record for the transfer is listed as Lenoir City, Tennessee, a two-hour drive from Nashville.
In March 2019, she also used a quitclaim to give away the house to a person named Betty Lane, according to county records.
According to her LinkedIn profile, she studied Marketing and Business and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where she remained working until 2012 when she moved to California.
Swing first lived in San Francisco before a move to Los Angeles in October 2018, where she works in artist development for Anschutz Entertainment Group.
Swing, 29, was given two homes by Warner but their link is unknown. She now lives in California
Swing has claimed that she had no idea that the house had been transferred to her at no cost on November 25
Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, signed the property away via a quitclaim deed to Michelle Swing, a 29-year-old woman living in Los Angeles, for $0.00, according to county records pictured above. Swing’s signature does not appear on the November 25th transfer and she told DailyMail.com she knew absolutely nothing about it
According to records, in January 2019, Warner also transferred this $249,000 home to Swing
Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’
[Verse 1] – When you’re alone and life is making you lonely; You can always go downtown; When you’ve got worries, all the noise and the hurry; Seems to help, I know, downtown
[Pre-Chorus] – Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city; Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty; How can you lose? The lights are much brighter there; You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
[Chorus] – So go downtown; Things will be great when you’re downtown; No finer place for sure, downtown; Everything’s waiting for you
[Verse 2] – Don’t hang around and let your problems surround you; There are movie shows downtown; Maybe you know some little places to go to; Where they never close downtown
[Pre-Chorus] – Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle bossa nova; You’ll be dancing with ’em too before the night is over; Happy again; The lights are much brighter there; You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares
[Chorus] – So go downtown; Where all the lights are bright, downtown; Waiting for you tonight, downtown; You’re gonna be alright now, downtown
[Instrumental Break w/ Backing Vocals]
[Pre-Chorus] – And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you; Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to; Guide them along; So maybe I’ll see you there; We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares
[Chorus] – So go downtown; Things will be great when you’re downtown; Don’t wait a minute more, downtown; Everything is waiting for you, downtown
[Outro] – Downtown (downtown); Downtown (downtown); Downtown (downtown); Downtown (downtown)
Petula Clark is pictured in March 2020
Friday’s blast emanated from a white RV parked outside the AT&T building on 2nd Avenue at 6.40 am. The explosion injured three people and caused severe damage to the city’s downtown area.
Cops had been called to the area around 6am following reports of shots fired.
They arrived to find no evidence of a shooting but instead encountered the RV, which was playing a recording of a woman’s voice warning that it would explode in 15 minutes.
Six responding officers who rushed to evacuate the area have been hailed as heroes for their quick efforts in the face of grave danger.
They are: Officers Brenna Hosey, James Luellen, Michael Sipos, Amanda Topping, James Wells and Sergeant Timothy Miller.
Five of the officers described their version of events at a press conference on Sunday morning, revealing that the RV played the song Downtown by Petula Clark before it detonated.
Luellen said he arrived at the scene first and scoped out the building where gunshots were reported, finding now evidence of gunfire.
Hosey arrived soon after, at which point both officers heard the recording coming from the vehicle.
‘There’s a large bomb within this vehicle, your primary objective is to evacuate,’ Luellen quoted a woman’s voice as saying.
‘I looked at Officer Hosey just to verify we heard the same thing, and then it started over,’ he said.
Luellen said he reported the audio to his supervisor, Sgt Miller, who ordered the deployment of all available units and instructed officers to evacuate the area.
Minutes later the RV started playing a three-minute countdown, followed by ‘Downtown’, Luellen said. He said all the shades were down on the vehicle, which didn’t have a tag.
Then came the explosion, which knocked Luellen to the ground and activated an airbag in another officer’s vehicle.
Officer Wells described hearing a ‘voice from God’ which told him to check on his partner Topping seconds before the blast went off, throwing him backward.
Topping said she sprinted to Wells and the pair ran for cover in a doorway.
‘I’ve never grabbed somebody so hard in my life,’ Topping said, her voice shaking with emotion.
Wells said that EMTs tried to take him to the hospital for examination, but he convinced them to let him go and focus their efforts on the three reported injuries.
Each of the officers described how they called loved ones to assure that they were okay before news of the explosion reached the media.
At a press conference on Sunday Officer Richard Luellen described his efforts to evacuate the area on Friday
Officers Amanda Topping (left) and James Wells (right) talked about running for cover together when the bomb went off
Investigators immediately launched a frantic chase for the person who left the RV on the street. On Saturday officials said they were pursuing approximately 500 leads and have close to 250 agents and analysts assigned to the case.
The FBI is also investigating whether the blast was deliberately designed to target law enforcement officers.
One expert theorized 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.
Nashville police confirmed on Saturday that they are investigating possible human remains at the site of the blast.
It is unclear whether anybody was inside the RV at the time it detonated.
Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville on Friday
An aerial view of the scene in downtown Nashville on Friday morning after an ‘intentional’ explosion came from a parked car
This is what is left of Second Avenue in downtown Nashville after the explosion on Friday morning. Police have not yet identified a suspect
The gigantic blast caused damage to more than 40 buildings, with several videos showing the widespread impact.
‘I’ve never seen anything like it. It shook everything,’ a resident told CNN.
David Malloy said he was walking his dog right by the RV and heard the warning message emanating from the vehicle.
Cops told Malloy to get back just before the bomb went off. He told WKRN that it is a ‘Christmas miracle’ he is still alive.
Gibson, the tattoo parlor owner whose shop was destroyed in the blast, told WZTV he is ‘heartbroken, speechless and pissed’.
‘I try to have a big heart, and I try to be a big person … [but] that person’s gonna get what they have coming, for sure,’ he said of the attacker.
David Malloy was walking his dog right by the RV and heard the warning message emanating from the vehicle. He is seen in a lobby on the city’s downtown area just before the blast
Malloy told WKRN that it is a ‘Christmas miracle’ he is still alive
Tennessee Gov Bill Lee announced on Saturday that that he has requested an emergency declaration from President Donald 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.
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 Cooper said 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,’ Cooper tweeted.
Because the RV was parked outside an AT&T facility, the explosion caused widespread network outages to the company’s phone and internet services in Tennessee and Kentucky.
That issue sparked safety fears as 911 dispatchers were reportedly having trouble identifying the location of callers.
This was the scene immediately after the explosion on Friday morning in downtown Nashville
A vehicle burns near the site of an explosion in the area of Second and Commerce in Nashville on Friday
Nashville Mayor John Cooper says it will be ‘some time’ before 2nd Avenue and the surround downtown area is open as normal
A law enforcement member walks past damage from an explosion in downtown Nashville
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,’ Foster said.
‘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.
Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC’s The Profit, offered a $250,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the culprit.
His offer 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.
Neighbors reported seeing a white RV parked in Warner’s driveway. Agents are seen at the $160,000 home
A member of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is seen outside the home
Law enforcement officers gather to investigate the house which was scanned for further bombs
ATF police were seen searching the house and removing evidence from the basement
Neighbors watch on as investigators search the home allegedly linked to the bombing suspect
A member of law enforcement returns to his vehicle as the search on the home continues