Christmas Bomb-Blast in Nashville

A large recreational/vehicle/camper exploded in downtown Nashville, Tennessee at 5:30 AM on Friday morning, shattering the Christmas holiday for local residents. At least three people were injured and 41 buildings were damaged. No fatalities were reported. The explosion, which was deemed to be deliberate, took place at 166 Second Avenue North between Church Street and Commerce Street. Police were responding to reports by residents of a number of shots fired when they encountered the vehicle parked on the street, a public address system, or a bullhorn blaring the message that the vehicle was going to explode in 15 minutes. Police went door-to-door, evacuating residents. The bomb squad was on the way when the vehicle exploded.

Media reported possible human remains were found near the scene of the blast.

“This morning’s attack on our community was intended to create chaos and fear in this season of peace and hope. But Nashvillians have proven time and time again that the spirit of our city cannot be broken,” Mayor John Cooper said at a news conference after issuing a curfew for the area.

The building containing the central office of the telephone exchange for AT&T was damaged in the blast leading to some communications outages including the 911 emergency systems of the police. The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily halted flights out of Nashville International Airport because of telecommunications issues associated with the explosion.

The FBI will be taking the lead in the investigation, agency spokesman Joel Siskovic said. Federal investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also on the scene. The FBI is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for investigating federal crimes, such as explosives violations and acts of terrorism.

Resident Buck McCoy posted a video on Facebook showing some of the damage.

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