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Nashville Mayor John Cooper condemned the bombing on Christmas morning as a “cowardly attack” and said the city will not rest until “those responsible … are brought to justice.” The attacker remained unidentified on Christmas night.
Cooper spoke at an evening press conference. In it, he revealed that 41 buildings were damaged and three people suffered minor injuries; The city’s police chief said authorities discovered tissue in the blast area that they suspect could be human remains.
There is no information on a suspect or suspects at this time, and it is unclear if the attacker was killed in the blast, authorities say. “The RV was detonated, so if it was someone inside, we have no idea. It was such a big explosion, ”said Police Chief John Drake. “We will continue to examine it to see if it was human remains.” Some 911 and AT&T services failed for a time, the chief said.
The mayor bristled with determination and said he is angry about the explosion, calling it “a deliberate bomb that exploded in our community” that caused “catastrophic” damage to a historic neighborhood in addition to injuries.
The Mayor Says He Believes the Attack Was Designed to Cause Fear
Cooper said the city is determined to rebuild and bring “whoever is responsible for this to justice.” Officials are working to declare a civil emergency for the damaged community and have imposed a curfew.
The mayor said that “this morning’s attack on our community was intended to cause fear.” He said that “we will not rest until those responsible for this cowardly attack are brought to justice.” A 4-year-old girl was saved from injury, Cooper said.
The Metro Nashville Police Department has released a picture of the motor home that exploded in downtown Nashville after broadcasting a recorded message warning people to evacuate the area.
While sharing the photo, police wrote: “This is the motor home that exploded on 2nd Ave N this morning. She arrived on 2nd Ave at 1:22 a.m. Have you seen this vehicle in our area or do you have information about it? Contact us through Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463 or online. “They shared this link and tagged the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which is involved in the investigation of the explosion, which left three people with minor injuries and damaged several buildings.
Cooper Praised the Heroism of Six Uniformed Police Officers Who ‘Took Swift Action’
The mayor strongly praised the six uniformed police officers, who guided citizens to safety without knowing when the bomb might explode. It is not yet clear what the motive for the attack is.
Cooper called the officers “incredible heroes who ran into danger.”
Officers who were injured from this are recovering well, Cooper said. He said officers “took quick action and kept people out of harm’s way … they are heroes, and I am grateful to them and to all the Nashville responders.”
Police Chief John Drake said officers “had no idea what they were responding to” when they responded to a shooting call. They then heard a countdown and message from the RV, which was also “playing music.” A video shows that the countdown message was a warning recorded in a female voice suggesting that people evacuate the area.