Christmas morning bomb in downtown Nashville

The aftermath of a vehicle bombing that occured early on Christmas morning in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 25, 2020. (Photo: Nashville Police)
The aftermath of a vehicle bombing that occured early on Christmas morning in Nashville, Tennessee, Dec. 25, 2020. (Photo: Nashville Police)

WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) - A bomb exploded in a recreational vehicle (RV) early on Friday, Christmas morning, in Nashville, Tennessee. The explosion injured three people and caused extensive physical damage.

No individual or entity claimed responsibility, and there are no obvious suspects. Thus, police were unable to even speculate about a motive.

How Events Unfolded

Shortly after 1:00 AM, a recreational vehicle was driven to a street in downtown Nashville and parked there.

At 5:30 AM, some 90 minutes before sunrise, the sound of gunshots woke residents in the historic neighborhood, and they called 911—the local emergency number throughout the US.

Police arrived around 6:00 AM. They found no evidence of a shooting, and the possibility later arose that there had been no shooting, but that the sound had come from a nearby RV.

The vehicle was parked on the street, outside the state’s tallest building: the AT&T tower, which serves as a transmission facility. The vehicle was broadcasting a strange, computerized announcement in a woman’s voice, which warned of an imminent bombing.

The police called their bomb squad and began evacuating the area. Had it been another morning, other than Christmas, when the streets are unusually empty, and had it not been for the warning broadcast from the RV, almost certainly there would have been fatalities.

Early Friday evening, Nashville’s mayor, John Cooper, held a press conference after touring the area.

The blast, Cooper said, had caused “catastrophic damage” to a “very historic part of Nashville.” Over 40 buildings suffered structural damage, and one was left partially collapsed.

It was unclear, if the AT&T tower was the intended target, or if it was just a coincidence that the RV was parked there. In any event, the blast interrupted communications throughout the region and even led to a brief suspension of flights in and out of the Nashville airport.

“Total Surprise”

The bombing was quite unexpected, and local authorities were candid in explaining that.

The Nashville Police Department Chief, John Drake, told journalists, “We have not received any threats whatsoever,” as he characterized the bombing as a “total surprise.”

In fact, when he was first told about the incident, Drake said, he assumed that someone in a camper vehicle had been trying to keep warm, using a propane gas tank, and a leak had caused the blast.

However, “as I got more updates,” he continued, “I found out it was intentional, but we had no pre-warnings at all.”

The RV was destroyed in the blast, and Drake said that police may have found human remains near the wrecked vehicle. However, that remains to be confirmed.

In addition, there is a significant chance that the bombing was the work of more than one individual. In that case, the person who drove the bomb-laden vehicle to the blast site, most likely, would be the least significant of the conspirators.

Editing by John J. Catherine