Large explosion in downtown Nashville likely 'intentional act,' police say

Blast in Nashville
(Image credit: Screenshot/YouTube/CNN)

A large blast that shook downtown Nashville early Christmas morning wasn't an accident, Nashville police sayk. "The explosion was significant, as you can see," and "the police department, its federal partners — the FBI and ATF — are conducting a large-scale investigation to this point," said Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron. "We do believe that the explosion was an intentional act." Three people were injured in the explosion, but none critically, he added.

Police said they had responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle parked downtown at just before 6 a.m., but they had reason to call in the bomb squad, and the vehicle exploded as the unit was en route to the scene. About 20 buildings were damaged in the blast, Nashville Mayor John Cooper said. "It looks like a bomb went off," he said, and authorities will give an update Saturday morning. In the meantime, the downtown area will be "sealed off," Cooper said. "One more event in Nashville's 2020."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.