EA DNA sample that the investigators took from his house gave certainty: The man who caused a strong explosion on Christmas Day in Nashville, Tennessee, apparently died at the scene.
Remnants of human tissue had been found in the remains of a trailer that the investigators had previously discovered on surveillance cameras. The perpetrator has now been identified, said local FBI chief Douglas Korneski. Prosecutor Donald Cochran continued: “We have come to the conclusion that a person named Anthony Quinn Warner was the bomber.”
Warner was there when the bomb detonated, “and he was killed in the explosion,” said Cochran. The 63-year-old, who is described in the US media as a freelance IT expert, had not previously been noticed by the police as a suspect.
Nashville police chief John Drake said what is known so far is that Warner acted alone. The detonation, which was preceded by a warning to residents, caused massive property damage in the city center. In addition, three people were injured.
The investigators have so far not given any information about the type of explosive used by the perpetrator. They also left open whether the case could be classified as terrorism because the perpetrator’s motive is still unclear. However, several possible theories are already being negotiated in the US media.
It is conceivable, according to the broadcaster CBS, citing the local mayor, that the attack was aimed at the telecommunications giant A&T. Its building was also damaged, which is why many customers in the region lost telephone and data connections for several days. According to media reports, Anthony Warner’s father also worked for the company years ago.
Worried about the new cellular standard?
But it is at least conceivable that the 63-year-old could have attached various conspiracy theories. Among other things, the new 5G mobile communications standard is being branded as a surveillance tool by conspiracy theorists around the world. As the British “Independent” reports, a witness questioned by the police told journalists that he was also asked whether Warner had ever expressed concern to him about this technology. His answer: No, he didn’t.
There is also speculation on social media as to whether a so-called QAnon supporter may have become violent with Warner. QAnon supporters also believe in a secret state spying, here too 5G is seen as a possible surveillance tool. But there is no evidence for this thesis either. It is also still open whether the alleged perpetrator left a manifest or a suicide note.
Meanwhile, neighbors describe the alleged assassin as a quiet, reserved person. “I think some people would say he’s a little strange. He was a kind of computer freak who worked at home, “Warner’s neighbor Steve Schmoldt told reporters, writes the Guardian, for example.
However, some details from the area of the attack show that the 63-year-old had planned his act long in advance. The British Daily Mail, for example, researched that Warner had already given his house away a month earlier – to a young woman from California (Michelle S., 29 years old) who, according to her own statements, neither knew him nor from the gift (the house on the outskirts of Nashville is said to have been worth around $ 100,000) knew. In Tennessee, a special online platform called “Quitclaim” makes it possible to make such gifts without the recipient’s knowledge.
Psychologists point out that people at risk of suicide often start giving away their possessions before they die. In the Warner case, however, this could not be interpreted as a warning signal due to the aforementioned confidentiality of the transaction.
What role did Petula Clark’s “Downtown” play?
Many details of the attack remain mysterious. What about the warning that was heard from the camper for minutes, in which an apparently mechanical female voice called for the evacuation of the place and announced a countdown of 15 minutes? And why was the famous song “Downtown” by Petula Clark also played from tape in between?
It is clear, however, that this action probably saved lives: the police officers who were there were able to bring several residents to safety. According to investigators, people would probably have died without warning.
Pictures from the location of the detonation showed damaged houses, burned out cars and debris on the street. After the explosion on Friday, several fires could be seen on photos; a rising black column of smoke was visible from afar. Mayor John Cooper spoke of “catastrophic damage”. More than 40 stores were damaged, he said.
After the explosion, the FBI alone was involved in the investigation with around 250 officers. With the help of recordings of the caravan, which the investigators located on surveillance cameras shortly before the explosion, experts were apparently able to quickly establish the connection to the perpetrator. His house on the outskirts of Nashville had already been searched on Saturday.
As a rule, we do not report suicides – unless the offense receives special attention due to the circumstances. If you yourself have the feeling that you need help, please contact the telephone counseling immediately (www.telefonseelsorge.de). By calling the toll-free number 0800-1110111 or 0800-1110222, you can get anonymous help from advisors who can show you ways out of difficult situations.