The girlfriend of the man suspected of a Christmas bombing in Nashville warned police that he was making explosives in his RV more than a year before the attack, The New York Times reports.
Police say Anthony Warner, a 63-year-old IT specialist, drove an RV packed with explosives to Downtown Nashville at around 1:22 am on Christmas Day.
Police responding to a call of gunfire at around dawn instead found an RV blaring a message warning people to evacuate ahead of a coming explosion and playing the song “Downtown” by Petula Clark.
The bomb destroyed storefronts and badly damaged an AT&T building the RV was parked near.
Police were able to evacuate surrounding buildings and no one was killed except for Warner, who was inside the RV, authorities say.
The bombing caused widespread outrages in communications that affected airports, 911 centers, hospitals, and other businesses across a wide swath of the southeastern United States.
Girlfriend tipped police in 2019:
Warner’s girlfriend told police that he “frequently talks about the military and bomb making” and was building explosives in his RV in August 2019.
Officers interviewed her at her home and went to Warner’s home but “did not receive an answer.” Police said they observed “several security cameras and wires attached to an alarm sign on the front door.”
A police spokesman said that officers “saw no evidence of a crime and had no authority to enter his home or fenced property.”
Warner’s lawyer told police that he would “not allow his client to permit a visual inspection of the R.V.”
Warner was “not on our radar,” police say:
Police did not mention the earlier report until five days following the bombing.
“He was not on our radar,” David Rausch, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said earlier. “He was not someone that was identified as a person of interest for the bureau. So we were not familiar with this individual until this incident.”
Police say Warner worked for several businesses in the area and sent an email earlier this month saying he was retiring. He also signed away his home and gave away his car, claiming to have cancer.
It’s unclear why he targeted the area. His father worked for AT&T years earlier.