U.S. authorities said Sunday they have identified Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, as the man who blew up a motor home at dawn on Christmas, an explosion that rocked a commercial district in the southern city of Nashville, Tennessee.
Warner acted alone, authorities said at a press conference in Nashville Sunday. A motive has not been determined, they said.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that an individual named Anthony Warner is the bomber, and he was present when the bomb went off and that he perished in the bombing,” Donald Cochran, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, told a news conference.
Investigators used DNA and other evidence to link Warner to the blast. They searched Warner’s home Saturday in the suburb of Antioch about 18 kilometers from the blast site, a Nashville neighborhood filled with country music bars and restaurants.
Several neighbors of Warner said they had seen a light-colored recreational vehicle, like the one that blew up Friday, in the backyard of the Antioch duplex over the last several months.
Authorities said they are still tracking down numerous other tips and have reached no conclusions about how the explosion unfolded. Public records show that Warner had experience with electronics and reportedly worked information technology jobs.
Investigators do not know why Warner chose downtown Nashville for what they described as an “intentional act” and a “deliberate bomb.”
One theory is that an AT&T communications building was targeted because the recreational vehicle was parked near it when the bomb went off. Communications were affected in several states as the result of the blast, although much of the service was restored by Sunday afternoon.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” show that the location of the bombing, next to the AT&T building, indicated it was meant to be an attack on communications service.
“It feels like there has to be some connection with the AT&T facility and the site of the bombing,” he said. “It’s got to have something to do with the infrastructure.”
The Friday morning blast damaged dozens of buildings and sent three people to the hospital with what police said were noncritical injuries. Six police officers were credited for saving people from being hurt after a recorded message coming from the vehicle said people should evacuate.
While authorities said that they had not found any evidence of other conspirators or threats of other explosions, they temporarily shut down a road outside of Nashville Sunday while investigating a white box truck.
Tony Rodriguez, the resident in the other half of the duplex where Warner lived, told The Washington Post that he never spoke to his neighbor and didn’t know his name.
Rodriguez said on a few occasions he saw the man adjusting an antenna above the house or power-washing the driveway behind their home. Rodriguez said the man posted several “No Trespassing” and warning signs around the property, particularly where he kept the recreational vehicle.
The city street where the explosion occurred remained sealed off and under curfew as investigators searched the wreckage.