A part of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, looks like a war zone following the aftermath of a Christmas-morning bombing in an RV that has officials trying to piece together information on what exactly happened.
Federal officials still have not said if the blast is being treated as an act of terror, but the “entire resources of the Department of Justice” are being devoted to the investigation, according to Don Cochran, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Police have released an image of the RV and have asked anyone with any information about the vehicle to call them or the FBI. A witness told CNN that she remembered hearing the sound of gunfire around 4:30 a.m. and then a “computerized message” from the RV directing people in a female voice to “evacuate now.” She later said that she heard the voice counting down.
“This vehicle will explode in 15 minutes,” the countdown said, the witness recalled to CNN. Then, “This vehicle will explode in 14 minutes.”
“This was a terrible day, but Nashville has faced other challenges, particularly this year,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said late Christmas Day. “We can rebuild and get back to normal. This morning’s attack on our community was intended to create chaos and fear in this season of peace and hope, but the spirit of our city cannot be broken.”
More than 40 businesses in the area were damaged and three people were hospitalized from the explosion. Police have found what they believe to be human remains but have not yet confirmed any fatalities.
The explosion happened near the AT&T building on Second Avenue, but police are not sure if that location was intentional or just a coincidence.