ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Federal authorities confirmed on Sunday that a man named Anthony Quinn Warner was responsible for the Christmas morning explosion in downtown Nashville and that he died in the blast, multiple media outlets reported.
Warner’s death in the explosion was confirmed using DNA and other evidence, but a motive in the bombing has not yet been determined, The Associated Press reported.
BREAKING: Nashville Police name "person of interest" in Christmas morning bombing. Agents are providing updates at a press conference now.— Bliss ZechmanNC9 (@BlissZechman) December 27, 2020
Officials say Anthony Warner is the bomber. They say Warner was present when the bomb went off and he died in the bombing.
Authorities also confirmed that they believe Warner acted alone in rigging the recreational vehicle he parked on Nashville’s Second Avenue to explode, the AP reported.
Warner, who went by Tony, lived a fairly reclusive but not unkind life, according to neighbors interviewed by multiple media outlets.
Warner, 63, reportedly lived for years with his parents and then alone in an Antioch home about 10 miles southeast of the blast site, The Washington Post reported.
Warner, who has held several information technology jobs throughout his life, once owned an alarm company and most recently worked as an independent computer technician with real estate firm Fridrich & Clark in Nashville. Both Warner’s residence and Nashville office were searched by federal agents on Saturday, and Google Street View images of his Antioch home show a white recreational vehicle, similar to the one which exploded Friday morning, parked behind a wooden fence on the property, The Tennessean reported.
State business records indicate Anthony Warner registered the company Custom Alarms & Electronics, which produced burglar alarms, and that the company had an alarm license from November 1993 through November 1998, the newspaper reported.
According to neighbors interviewed by the Post, Warner rarely returned neighborly waves and ignored an offer of Christmas dinner. Other neighbors spoke of cordial – if lowkey – exchanges throughout the years and remembered Warner’s kindness to his animals, The Tennessean reported.
Steve Schmoldt told The Tennessean that he and his wife have lived next to Warner for more than two decades and confirmed that when Schmoldt’s wife moved into the house in 1995, Warner already lived next door.
Schmoldt described Warner as friendly but so understated that “I guess some people would say he’s a little odd,” even though the two men regularly exchanged small talk as Schmoldt came and went from his home.
Schmoldt did confirm to the Post that his wife brought Warner a Christmas dinner, but Warner never answered the door.
“As far as we knew, he was kind of a computer geek that worked at home,” Schmoldt told The Tennessean, noting his longtime neighbor worked in his yard, which he fenced in himself, and installed lights and security cameras.
“I can tell you as far as politics, he never had any yard signs or flags in his window or anything like that. If he did have any political beliefs he kept, that was something he kept to himself,” Schmoldt told the newspaper.
He also noted that the RV, now confirmed by authorities to be at the center of Friday’s explosion, had been parked outside Warner’s home for years and that only a few weeks ago did his neighbor build a gate in the fence and drive the vehicle into his yard.
“To be honest, we didn’t really pay any attention it was gone until the FBI and ATF showed up,” Schmoldt told The Tennessean.
Breaking: Anthony Quinn Warner was identified as the Nashville bomber by US Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Cochran said Warner "Is the bomber. He was present when the bomb went off," Cochran said, adding that Warner "perished in the bombing."— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) December 27, 2020
Rick Laude, who has lived near Warner since 2010, told the Post that “recluse” would be an excellent word to describe Warner.
Laude said he saw Warner getting his mail last week and waved at him, but Warner did not return the gesture, which was normal.
A cousin told the Post that Warner was “into phones and electronics” like his father, Robert Warner, who died in 2011.
“He has always been a quiet person. …When we had the family reunions, he brought the RV, or he had a boat,” Robert Warner told the newspaper, noting that he had not talked to his cousin in about 10 years and that many members of the family had lost touch with him.
Meanwhile, Schmoldt told The Tennessean that when he learned that whomever was in the RV appeared to have tried to avoid casualties, he immediately thought of Warner’s devotion to his pets for so many years.
Schmoldt said Warner “took really good care of his dogs,” even building a wheelchair ramp for them when they got older.
“If it was him, he didn’t want anybody hurt. But if that’s the case, what other message is there? If indeed it was him, I just, I don’t know. They have to figure out some kind of motive,” he told the newspaper.
Cox Media Group