Nashville bomber gave away car, home before Christmas Day attack

In the days before he detonated a bomb in the downtown area of the US city Nashville, Tennessee on Christmas Day, Anthony Quinn Warner changed his life in ways that suggest he never intended to survive the blast that killed him and wounded three other people.

Warner, 63, gave away his car, telling the recipient that he had cancer. A month before the bombing, he signed a document that transferred his longtime home in a Nashville suburb to a California woman for nothing in return. The computer consultant told an employer that he was retiring.

But he did not leave behind a clear digital footprint or any other obvious clues to explain why he set off the explosion in his parked recreational vehicle (RV) or played a message warning people to flee before it damaged dozens of buildings and knocked out cellphone service in the area.

While investigators tried to piece together a possible motive for the attack, a neighbour recalled a recent conversation with Warner that seemed ominous only in hindsight.

But he did not leave behind a clear digital footprint or any other obvious clues to explain why he set off the explosion in his parked recreational vehicle (RV) or played a message warning people to flee before it damaged dozens of buildings and knocked out cellphone service in the area.

While investigators tried to piece together a possible motive for the attack, a neighbour recalled a recent conversation with Warner that seemed ominous only in hindsight.

Rick Laude told The Associated Press (AP) on Monday that he saw Warner standing at his mailbox less than a week before Christmas and pulled over in his car to talk. After asking how Warner’s elderly mother was doing, Laude said he casually asked him, “Is Santa going to bring you anything good for Christmas?”

 

Warner smiled and said, “Oh, yeah, Nashville and the world is never going to forget me,” Laude recalled.

Laude said he didn’t think much of the remark and thought Warner only meant that “something good” was going to happen for him financially. He was speechless when he learned that authorities had identified Warner as the bomber.

“Nothing about this guy raised any red flags,” Laude said.

As investigators continued to search for a motive, body camera video released late Monday by Nashville police offered more insight into the moments leading up to the explosion and its aftermath.

The recording from Officer Michael Sipos’ camera captures officers walking past the RV parked across the street as the recorded warning blares and then helping people evacuate after the thunderous blast off camera. Car alarms and sirens wail as a police dispatch voice calls for all available personnel and people stumble through downtown streets littered with glass.

David Rausch, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said authorities hope to establish a motive but sometimes simply cannot.

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