Officials in Nashville said Sunday that Anthony Quinn Warner of nearby Antioch, Tennessee, is believed to be responsible for blowing up an RV in downtown Nashville early Christmas morning, and he is the only one who died in the blast. Warner, 63, was a self-employed IT consultant who kept to himself and rarely left his house, neighbors said. His motive is not known, and investigators are trying to figure out if he intentionally targeted the AT&T building he parked near and badly damaged, knocking out cellphone and internet communications to several Southern states. The explosion also damaged about 40 other buildings.
State, federal, and local officials identified Warner just 60 hours after the explosion. They positively identified his remains through DNA recovered from the scene, a VIN number from the RV uncovered in the wreckage, and tips from people who recognized the RV that had long been parked outside Warner's house. They have not yet determined what was used to cause the huge blast.
Earlier Sunday, five of the police officers who responded to calls about the RV early Christmas morning recounted their efforts to evacuate people from nearby buildings as a recording from the RV counted down 15 minutes until an impending blast. "That's stuff that I'll never forget, the sound of the announcement saying ... 'Evacuate now,'" said Amanda Topping, one of five officers. "Just odd. And I'm pacing back and forth because I kept on having to turn pedestrians around."
Just before the blast, the warning was replaced by a recording of the 1964 Petula Clark hit "Downtown." The part of the song that echoed down Second Avenue, The Tennessean reports, was the beginning: "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."
Warner did not have any known political ideologies or any known presence on social media. "To describe him as a recluse would be an excellent word," said Rick Laude, a neighbor since 2010. He appears to have gotten his affairs in order over the past few months. In November, he transferred the deed to his house to a woman in California, and earlier this month he informed a longtime client he would no longer work for them.