Huge Early Morning Explosion Rocks Downtown Nashville. Authorities Believe It Was Intentional.

Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. Buildings shook in the immediate area and beyond after a loud boom was heard early Christmas morning.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

It was anything but a normal, peaceful Christmas morning in a section of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Friday, as an explosion set numerous structures on fire and injured three people, including a police officer. “We do believe this to have been an intentional act,” Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said. “Significant damage has been done to the infrastructure there on 2nd Avenue North.”

Officers with the Metro Nashville Police Department were called out to investigate shots fired when they came upon an RV that looked suspicious to them. There was no evidence of shots having been fired, but the bomb squad was called to check out the RV, which then exploded at about 6:30 a.m.

An eyewitness told CNN that the explosion happened in front of his home and blew out his windows. “Everything on the street was on fire,” he said. “There were three cars that were fully engulfed.”

The street where the explosion occurred is on the edge of Nashville’s popular tourist district and was heavily damaged. Nashville Mayor John Cooper told a Memphis TV station that the explosion was “clearly done when no one was going to be around. Fortunately not many people were hurt.”

Nashville police say there were announcements broadcasting from the vehicle that a bomb would explode prior to this morning’s blast. 

The incident is under investigation by the ATF, FBI, and other state and federal agencies.

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