Possible human remains found near Nashville explosion site, police chief says

First there were the gunshots that startled residents awake in a downtown Nashville community on Christmas morning.When people looked out their window...

Posted: Dec 25, 2020 9:06 AM
Updated: Dec 28, 2020 8:56 AM

First there were the gunshots that startled residents awake in a downtown Nashville community on Christmas morning.

When people looked out their windows a little before dawn, they saw an old, white motor home parked on their street.

Then the sound of a woman's voice started emanating from the recreational vehicle, with a warning. There was a bomb that was going to go off in 15 minutes.

When the RV exploded, it shattered windows and sent flaming pieces of debris through the air, damaging several buildings.

The explosion remains a mystery, but Mayor John Cooper on Friday said the blast was caused by a 'deliberate bomb.'

Three civilians were hospitalized and are in stable condition, officials said.

The unusual warning that came from the RV likely saved lives. But serious injuries were also avoided due to the police officers who took the warning seriously and cleared the area.

Tissue found will be examined to see if it is from person

Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake on Friday evening said investigators found tissue near the blast site. They will be examined, he said, to determine whether they are human remains. He could not say how close the tissue was to the site where the motor home exploded.

CBS News first reported information about the possible human remains.

The blast tore into at least 41 businesses, and one building partially collapsed, officials said. Concerned about the structural integrity of the affected buildings, the city cordoned the area off and won't allow anyone in until Sunday afternoon.

'It will be some time before 2nd Ave is back to normal,' Cooper said.

Witnesses recalled the terrifying moments before the explosion and in its aftermath. 'I've never seen anything like it,' resident Betsy Williams told CNN. 'It shook everything.'

She said she heard the warning from what sounded like an automated female voice. She said if the gunshots hadn't woken her up, she's not sure she would have heard the message.

She and her family left after the voice from the RV said there was eight minutes left before the explosion. They headed across the river and watched from the parking lot of the city's NFL stadium.

When time expired, they started to head back. As they were driving down 2nd Avenue, they saw the explosion, Williams said.

'The fireball went all the way up past the AT&T, above the AT&T building. Everything just, I mean, everything shook. It was quite the blast,' she told Anderson Cooper.

Another resident said the scene of destruction was like an apocalyptic movie.

Three cars were set afire. Trees were down. Bricks and glass were everywhere.

The mayor thanked the police for saving people from harm.

Metro Nashville Police Department officers were responding to a call of shots fired around 5:30 a.m. CT Friday when they found the motor home parked in front of an AT&T transmission building at 166 2nd Avenue North.

When they heard the warning they moved people away.

The RV exploded at 6:30 a.m. CT, said police spokesman Don Aaron. 'We do believe this to have been an intentional act.'

The force of the explosion knocked down one officer, Aaron said, and caused hearing loss in another. But no officers suffered serious injuries.

AT&T spokesman Jim Greer told CNN that the company's network hub in the city was damaged in the explosion and service in the Nashville area was affected. AT&T is the parent company of CNN.

Authorities: No credible threats signaling impending attack before Christmas

The street is on the edge of Nashville's hospitality and tourist district in a historic part of town.

Officials have no information about whether anyone was inside the RV when it exploded. Police tweeted a photo of the RV as it was driven into the area at 1:22 a.m.

There were no known credible threats in the Nashville area that would have signaled an impending attack on or before Christmas, a federal law enforcement source told CNN.

A second law enforcement source said federal authorities are not aware of any increased chatter nationally by known extremist groups that would indicate any credible plans for conducting attacks around the holidays.

Acting US Attorney General Jeff Rosen was briefed on the incident, according to his spokesman, 'and directed that all DOJ resources be made available to assist in the investigation.'

Technical experts from the FBI lab and evidence response teams have been brought in from around the country to 'help process this massive crime scene,' said FBI agent Matt Foster.

ATF Special Agent in Charge Mickey French said his agency had activated its national response teams and was working alongside the FBI and MNPD. The agency has explosive specialists, chemists and engineers involved in the evidence recovery process.

The White House said that President Donald Trump has been briefed and would receive 'regular updates.' President-elect Joe Biden has also been briefed.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said in a statement on Twitter that the state would 'supply all the resources needed' to determine the cause of the explosion.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
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