Explosion in Nashville, no suspect yet, Great Wolf Lodge active shooter, suspect at large
Dose of Sarcasm
Published at : 26 Dec 2020
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The six police officers who rushed to evacuate Nashville residents before a bomb-rigged RV exploded in the early hours of Christmas morning have been heralded as heroes for potentially saved lives with their quick actions.
They were named by Metro Police Chief John Drake as Officer Brenna Hosey, Officer James Luellen, Officer Michael Sipos, Officer Amanda Topping, Officer James Wells and Sergeant Timothy Miller, as he praised them for rushing into danger to save others.
The officers had been responding to reports of shots fired 40 minutes before the explosion when they found an RV located outside of an AT&T transmission building which was playing an announcement featuring a woman's voice saying it would explode in 15 minutes.
There was no evidence of shooting at the scene and it is not known of the sounds could also have come from the RV's recording. Cops have not revealed who made the initial shooting report.
They rushed to get people out of their homes while the ominous, pre-recorded message played over and over again with music playing inbetween each countdown, before the van eventually exploded at round 6.40am.
'These officers didn't care about themselves,' Chief Drake said. 'They didn't think about that. They cared about the citizens of Nashville. They went in and we'd be talking not about the debris that we have here but potential people.'
In a press briefing on Friday night, Drake also confirmed that police have found tissue that could potentially be human remains near the bomb site.
He gave no further details on the discovery repeating that there were still no known casualties but that the tissue is being examined.
Law enforcement officers had earlier said remains were found near the bomb site but did not indicate whether they were directly linked to the explosion, whether they could belong to the person responsible or a potential victim.
AT&T are also continuing to investigate as they work to repair internet and cell phone outages caused by the blast that had impacted 911 and emergency phone systems, and temporarily shut down flights from Nashville International Airport.
The blast caused widespread outages with issues being reports across Kentucky and Tennesse at around noon local time.
It's unclear if the AT&T building was the target of the bomb but the vehicle was parked outside it. There are also bars, restaurants and apartments nearby which had not yet opened.
'Power is essential to restoring wireless and wireline communications and we are working with law enforcement to get access to our equipment and make needed repairs,' AT&T said in a statement at 5pm.
'Given the damage to our facility it will take time to restore service. We have already rerouted significant traffic from this facility and are bringing in other equipment, including numerous portable cell sites to the area.
'There are serious logistical challenges to working in a disaster area and we will make measurable progress in the hours and days ahead,' the company. 'We're grateful for the work of law enforcement as they investigate this event while enabling us to restore service for our customers.'
When it exploded, the bomb was inside an RV on Second Avenue, between Church and Commerce Street.
The FBI is investigating but so far no suspect or motive has been identified. Police do not even know if someone was inside the RV when it blew up because the blast was so intense that it was completely obliterated along with everything inside of it.
Three people were taken to the hospital with non-serious injuries.
On Friday evening, Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced curfew on the area around the bomb site as the investigation continues.
'A curfew will start at 4:30pm, Friday Dec 25. and be lifted Sunday, December 27 at 4:30pm,' he revealed in a tweet.
He also thanked the responding officers who he praised as heroes.
'They ran to danger with uncertain outcomes ahead of them; they were responsible for so many innocents being saved,' Cooper said.
He later added that 41 separate businesses had been affected by the blast and the structures of some of the older buildings in the area had been effected.
Tennesse governori Bill Lee has also been called on to declare the incident a civil emergency to help with the rebuild effort.
'It will be some time until Second Ave is back to normal,' Cooper said.
At an earlier press conference shortly before 10am, police spokesman Don Aaron said it was an 'intentional act' but he did not give any information about potential suspects or motives.
'We do not know whether anyone was in the RV when it exploded. I can't tell you if there's a potential for that scenario,' police spokesman Don Aaron said at a press conference on Friday afternoon.