John Cooper, the mayor of Nashville, suggested that the Nashville bomber may have targeted the AT&T building. The explosion damaged approximately 41 businesses and left three people hospitalized. It also caused widespread communication outages in the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama, where 911 services and residential phones were affected.
“Those of us in Nashville realize that on Second Avenue there is a big AT&T facility and the truck was parked adjacent to this large, historic AT&T facility, which happens to be in downtown Nashville, somewhat surprisingly. And to all of us locally, it feels like there has to be some connection with the AT&T facility and the site of the bombing,” Cooper said in an interview with CBS News. The mayor also dismissed concerns about further threats to Nashville, saying that the city is safe and there aren’t any more bombs.
Officials have identified the bomber of the Nashville Christmas Bombing as Anthony Quinn Warner. He died during the explosion and officials have collected his DNA remains from the site. On Dec. 25, 63-year-old Warner parked a vehicle near the explosion site and broadcast a warning before triggering the bomb. FBI agent Douglas Korenski ruled out the involvement of any other person as officials have gone through numerous hours of surveillance footage and found Warner to be the only person responsible for the crime.
As to Warner’s motive, nothing is certain. Korenski stated that the investigators are open to any possible connections. “We’re not at a position where we can speculate on that now. We are interviewing individuals that we’ve identified that are known to the suspect. We are also asking the public to, if they know him, they have spoken to him or know his ideology or anything that motivated him, we’re interested in speaking to you,” he said to reporters. As of now, officials have not tied the bombing to any terror activity. Korenski points out that a terrorist attack needs the perpetrator to follow an ideology. Investigators have found nothing of this sort tied to Warner.
Some reports suggest that Warner’s father used to work at BellSouth prior to his death on July 5, 2011. Two of the three email addresses that his father had were also linked to the company. Bellsouth is a telecommunications holding company based in Georgia. Founded in 1983, the company was acquired by AT&T in 2006. The fact that Warner’s father used to work for a subsidiary of AT&T, the company that suffered great damage in the explosion, is a clear red flag, according to a senior law enforcement official involved in the case.
Warner’s home address was apparently in Antioch, located southeast of Nashville. Investigators have gone through his home thoroughly. According to one document, Warner signed over his property to a woman from Los Angeles without any cost to her. The document only contained Warner’s signature but not the woman’s. According to Steve Fridrich, owner of Fridrich & Clark Realty, Warner used to come to his business once a month to provide computer consulting services, something that had gone on for four or five years. But in December, Warner sent an email to the company saying that he will no longer be able to service them. Warner gave no reason.
Meanwhile, AT&T is in the midst of rebuilding efforts. The company deployed more than 25 temporary satellite cell towers and 24 trailers of disaster recovery equipment at the impacted site. A Dec. 27 notice stated that the firm had restored 96 percent of wireless networks, 60 percent of business services, and 86 percent of consumer broadband as well as entertainment services.