NASHVILLE — Anthony Warner had a solitary job as an info know-how specialist, stopping in to numerous workplaces to repair computer systems. He was 63. He was not married. His neighbors barely knew him.

He despatched an e-mail to considered one of his purchasers three weeks in the past to say he was retiring. He began shedding possessions: He advised his ex-girlfriend that he had most cancers and gave her his automobile. Data present that he signed away his dwelling on the day earlier than Thanksgiving.

However he made certain to carry on to 1 final thing: His R.V., a Thor Motor Coach Chateau that he saved in his again yard.

He parked the car round 1:22 a.m. Christmas morning on Second Avenue North in downtown Nashville, within the coronary heart of a district of honky-tonks, eating places and boot retailers that might typically be packed however was quiet within the small hours of a vacation morning. The R.V. had been rigged with explosives and a speaker set to play a warning and a music: “Downtown” by Petula Clark, a success launched in 1964 celebrating the intense lights and bustle of a vibrant metropolis.

The lights are a lot brighter there / You possibly can overlook all of your troubles, overlook all of your cares

A number of hours later, law enforcement officials heard the speaker’s message and rushed to clear as many individuals out of close by flats and inns as they might. Simply earlier than daybreak, the R.V. exploded, its concussion reverberating for blocks. Particles was flung a number of blocks away. Mr. Warner was contained in the R.V. It’s believed that he was the one one who died.

“We’ve come to the conclusion that Anthony Warner is the bomber,” Donald Q. Cochran, the U.S. legal professional for the Center District of Tennessee, mentioned at a information convention on Sunday. “He was current when the bomb went off, and he perished within the bombing.”

Investigators mentioned they imagine that he acted alone. He was recognized via stays discovered scattered among the many wreckage.

Lots of of federal investigators had flocked into Nashville after the blast, chasing the leads that poured in by the lots of to find the wrongdoer. Now that they’ve discovered him, they’re nonetheless attempting to make sense of who he was and why he would set off an explosion that shattered a district the place the lights are certainly shiny and other people flock to overlook their bother and cares in a 12 months with no scarcity of them.

“These items of knowledge will assist us perceive the suspect’s motives,” Douglas Korneski, the particular agent in control of the F.B.I. discipline workplace in Memphis, mentioned on the information convention. He added, “None of these solutions will ever be sufficient for individuals who have been affected by this occasion.”

Mr. Warner emerged as an individual of curiosity after investigators from the Tennessee Freeway Patrol have been capable of finding a car identification quantity for the R.V. among the many rubble.

That led federal brokers to a brick duplex belonging to Mr. Warner in Antioch, a neighborhood within the Nashville space roughly 11 miles from the place the explosion occurred. On Saturday morning, a bomb workforce swept the duplex to test for explosives, after which dozens of federal investigators combed the property for proof.

Photos of the identical duplex, captured on Google Avenue View in March and Could 2019, present an R.V. within the yard that seems much like the one which the police say was detonated.

Mr. Warner had expertise working with electronics as an info know-how contractor for Nashville space companies, and in addition had a burglar alarm enterprise that was registered in Tennessee from 1993 to 1998, in response to state data.

Steve Fridrich, president of Fridrich & Clark Realty in Nashville, mentioned that he had been in touch with the F.B.I. about Mr. Warner, who he mentioned he employed often, often round as soon as a month, to work on computer systems. Mr. Fridrich mentioned that Mr. Warner was not an worker and that he believed he supplied I.T. help for a number of companies.

Mr. Fridrich mentioned Mr. Warner despatched the agency an e-mail on Dec. 5 saying that he was retiring.

“He’s a pleasant man, and this appears uncharacteristic of the Tony we all know,” Mr. Fridrich wrote in a textual content message. “He was very skilled and knew his stuff.”

The 2-bedroom duplex searched by investigators is considered one of a number of on a quiet cul-de-sac. Youngsters performed tag close by and neighbors seemed on as brokers from the F.B.I. and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives streamed out and in of the home. “It’s a quiet neighborhood,” mentioned Diana Hernandez, who lived a number of blocks away. “It’s very shocking. It’s like a film scene.”

Throughout the road from the duplex, Anna Blackmon, who has lived within the neighborhood for 30 years, mentioned she didn’t know the one who lived there, or anybody within the duplexes, as they have been largely rental properties with a close to fixed churn of residents. “You might have everyone out and in on a regular basis,” she mentioned.

Neighbors mentioned that Mr. Warner grew up in a house roughly a quarter-mile away. Nobody answered when a reporter visited the property on Saturday, and different efforts to achieve Mr. Warner’s household have been unsuccessful.

Bernice Gilley, who has lived throughout the road from the Warner household for 56 years, mentioned she remembered Mr. Warner and his brother taking part in soccer within the yard as kids. The household worshiped at a Roman Catholic church a number of miles away, Ms. Gilley mentioned.

“They have been one of many nicest individuals you’ll ever wish to meet,” she mentioned. “They’ve at all times been a positive household.”

Nashville was nonetheless attempting on Sunday to grapple with the results of the bombing. The road was charred and affected by mangled particles. Not less than one constructing collapsed, and dozens of others sustained harm. The drive of the blast blew out home windows and doorways for blocks.

Investigators haven’t mentioned whether or not there was any significance to the precise location the place the R.V. was parked, in entrance of an AT&T transmission facility. The explosion triggered disruption that reached throughout the area, chopping off cellphone and web service to properties and enterprise throughout elements of Tennessee and into Kentucky and Alabama. Flights have been grounded and 911 operations have been knocked offline. Mr. Warner’s solely obvious tie to the corporate to come back to mild thus far is a reasonably tenuous one: His father as soon as labored for Southern Bell, which ultimately merged into what’s now AT&T. Legislation enforcement officers have mentioned they’re not sure whether or not there was some other connection.

AT&T mentioned on Sunday that its crews have been capable of make appreciable progress, restoring electrical energy to 4 flooring of the constructing and pumping out three ft of water within the basement from firefighting efforts. The corporate had arrange a conveyable cell website to assist return some service, and had extra crews heading into Nashville.

The police launched {a photograph} of the R.V. that reveals the car heading via downtown with its headlights on, the white camper illuminated by streetlights and glowing storefronts.

Officer James Luellen of the Nashville Division stumbled on the car a number of hours later. He was responding to experiences of gunfire. As an alternative, he discovered the R.V., with its speaker warning {that a} bomb was inside and that it was about to detonate.

He additionally remembered the music that was interspersed with a countdown. Lyrics about shiny lights caught in his thoughts.

He known as for backup and was shortly joined by 5 different officers: Brenna Hosey, Michael Sipos, Amanda Topping, James Wells and Sgt. Timothy Miller. Aside from Sergeant Miller, an 11-year veteran, none had been with the Police Division longer than 4 years.

Since Friday, they’ve been held up as heroes, with officers saying that the bombing may have created way more carnage with out their fast motion.

“I feel they could contemplate what they did an everyday a part of their duties,” Mayor John Cooper mentioned as he stood beside the officers at a information convention on Sunday. “However we in Nashville comprehend it was extraordinary.”

On the information convention, the officers spoke publicly about their work on Christmas morning for the primary time. They described dashing into buildings and rousting residents — “scaring the bejesus” out of at the very least considered one of them.

Then there was a burst of orange, and the officers remembered briefly dropping their listening to from the concussion of the blast. They remembered looking for their colleagues afterward, apprehensive that they’d been damage or killed, after which feeling grateful that they and others within the neighborhood had survived.

“That was God,” Officer James Wells mentioned. “I’m not going to shrink back from that.”

Rick Rojas and Jamie McGee reported from Nashville, and Adam Goldman from Stowe, Vt. Steve Cavendish contributed reporting from Nashville, and Katie Benner from Washington.



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