Nashville bomber contacted ‘acquaintances’ before attack

Officials have yet released Anthony Warner's motive

Anthony Warner, the 63-year-old man involved in a suicide bombing on Christmas Day in downtown Nashville, sent materials about his views to his acquaintances, according to federal investigators.

FBI Special Agent Jason Pack said in a statement to the Associated Press that authorities are “aware the suspect sent materials which espoused his viewpoints to several acquaintances throughout the country.”

The explosion Warner set off severely damaged more than 40 buildings and injured several people on 2nd Avenue North.

Officials have not yet released Warner’s motive, but don’t consider the bombing to be an act of terrorism.

According to the Associated Press, police responded to a report of gunshots when they noticed Warner’s RV which was blaring recorded warnings of a bomb detonating in 15 minutes. The audio then switched to Petula Clark’s 1964 song “Downtown,” before the explosion.

CNN reported that authorities recovered pieces of Warner’s RV from the scene including a vehicle identification number that matched a vehicle registered in his name.

Read More: Proud Boys plan to blend in with Antifa at January 6 rally

In August 2019, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department received a phone call from attorney Raymond Throckmorton who represented Warner’s girlfriend Pamela Perry. According to the police report, Throckmorton said Perry called his office and made “suicidal threats to him via telephone.”

When police arrived at Perry’s home, they found her sitting on a porch next to two unloaded pistols she said belonged to Warner. Perry told police that she wanted them removed and mentioned that Warner was “building bombs in the RV trailer at his residence.”

Police spoke with Throckmorton who shared that Warner — who he represented in a civil matter years prior — “frequently [spoke] about the military and bomb-making.” The report also said that Throckmorton believed Warner was capable of making a bomb.

Read More: Trump begs Georgia officials to find votes in leaked phone call

Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said officers observed the home for days but found no evidence of bomb making at the time. Any evidence would’ve allowed a legal search warrant. Drake said looking back that it’s possible more could’ve been done.

“I believe officers did everything they could legally. Maybe we could have followed up more. Hindsight is 20/20,” Drake said. “The officers did not have probable cause to get a search warrant.”

Rick Laude, Warner’s neighbor, told CNN that he spoke to Warner four days before the bombing and described him as “a legitimate recluse.”

“I said, ‘Hey, Anthony, is Santa going to bring you something good for Christmas?'” Laude said. “He said, ‘Yes, I’m going to be more famous. I’m going to be so famous Nashville will never forget me.'”

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!