All of the leads released by authorities since the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville had been pointing to Anthony Warner as the prime suspect and now the FBI has put the matter to rest. DNA testing has reportedly confirmed that Warner was in the truck and died in the blast. The case is far from closed, however, because agents are still beating the bushes to attempt to figure out a motive. The press is aiding in that effort and from what’s been determined thus far, we might be able to draw at least a few conclusions. As to Warner himself, we’re beginning to learn that he was considered by people who knew him to be “a bit of an odd duck,” but he had no criminal history to speak of besides a minor drug charge back in the 70s. (NBC News)
The suspect in the Christmas morning explosion that rocked downtown Nashville, Tennessee, identified as Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, died in the blast, investigators said Sunday.
Speaking to reporters, authorities said that state and federal investigators matched DNA from the scene of the explosion to items collected from Warner and from his relatives.
“We can tell you Anthony Warner is the man believed to be responsible for this horrible crime,” said John Drake, chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department.
There’s just so much weirdness surrounding Warner and his recent activities that it’s hard to know where to start. One of his neighbors described him as “a little odd,” but not all that unusual or notable. He was also described as someone who kept to himself for the most part. He constructed a fence around his property last month, blocking the view of anyone seeking to observe the house. He opened the gate, pulled his RV into the driveway, and then closed the gate again. Presumably, that’s when he began constructing the bomb.
From all we’ve learned, Warner technically qualifies as a “suicide bomber,” but it’s clearly not that simple. When someone decides to end it all that way, they typically only need a vest with a small amount of explosives. Conversely, when someone goes to the trouble of building a truly massive bomb, they take it to a place where they will create the maximum carnage and death. Neither is the case with Warner. He chose a time and date when the fewest people possible would be likely to be out and about. He played a recording warning anyone in the area that a blast was imminent. And his efforts paid off since he was the only one that was killed.
So why would he do it the way that he did? If he wasn’t trying to kill a bunch of people, the bomb must have been intended to destroy something. Yesterday, we discussed the suggestion that Warner was paranoid about the new 5G networks. And he did park the RV in front of the AT&T building. But he was a computer technician with a lot of experience in electronics. Surely he knew that he couldn’t seriously take out all of the 5G for very long, right?
The bomber was clearly planning this for a while. As we already discussed, he had transferred two of his properties to a woman from California for free recently. He quit his job providing computer services to a local real estate agency more than a month ago without offering a reason. That was about the same time period when he was putting the fence up. While not vastly wealthy, Warner was clearly well-off financially and there hasn’t been any indication that his health was failing. So what drove him to commit suicide?
And then there’s that recording that he was blaring on the speakers of the RV. First, it was warning people of an imminent blast. But then, shortly before the bomb went off, it switched to playing Petula Clark’s 1964 song “Downtown.” That’s just another layer of weirdness. My first thought upon learning this was that the guy might have been a big fan of the television series Lost. That was the song that the reproductive doctor was playing in her house during a flashback segment before the tune was interrupted by the sound of an explosion. She rushed outside to see the plane that brought the castaways to the island breaking up in the sky above them. Or maybe the guy just really liked the song. Who knows?
In any event, if Warner wasn’t trying to take out a bunch of people but he used a massively larger bomb than he would have needed to end his own life, he must have been trying to blow up something, right? And since he parked in front of the AT&T building, the 5G theory may be the best one we have to go on. If he didn’t leave a note and his digital tracks online don’t turn up anything we may never know.
For one final dose of weirdness in this tale, there was a possible copycat of Warner’s arrested yesterday afternoon in Lebanon, Tennessee, roughly one-half hour’s drive from where Warner blew up his RV. A white box truck was driving around playing the same sort of ominous warning about an imminent explosion. Police didn’t find any explosives in the vehicle, however. Was that an attempt at suicide by cop or just some moron who didn’t understand how on-edge everyone was after the Christmas blast and didn’t realize the cops might have just taken him out with a sniper rifle? This entire affair just grows stranger by the day.