Nashville is still struggling in the aftermath of the Christmas Day bombing that injured three people, damaged dozens of buildings including an AT&T network hub, and caused days-long communication service outages.
Authorities have identified a suspect, Anthony Quinn Warner. Here are 5 things to know about him.
1. He died in the blast
On Sunday, authorities said Warner, the suspected bomber, died in the Christmas Day explosion.
“Anthony Warner is the bomber. He was present when the bomb went off, and he perished in the bombing,” U.S. Attorney Donald Cochran said Sunday.
Authorities confirmed that the human remains found at the scene belonged to Warner through DNA evidence, Cochran said. Authorities believe he acted alone in the incident.
2. A longtime Nashville resident with IT experience
Warner, 63, lived in Nashville for many years and held several IT jobs in the city. He had extensive experience with electronics and alarm systems. He worked as an independent computer technician with the real estate firm Fridrich & Clark. His family has been in Nashville since 1961.
Warner registered the company Custom Alarms & Electronics, which specialized in producing burglar alarms, in November 1993. Its alarm license lasted through November 1998.
Some are suggesting that Warner’s IT experience may have led him to target the AT&T hub for his car bombing, knowing it would cause service delays.
3. Federal agents searched his home
Federal agents searched Warner’s home in Antioch, Tenn., and the Fridrich & Clark real estate office in Nashville on Saturday.
Google Street View images of Warner’s home show a white RV parked behind a wooden fence. Neighbors told The Tennessean that they saw the RV at his home for years.
Warner allegedly used the white RV as the car bomb on Christmas Day. Police said the explosion came from the RV shortly after a speaker system warned people to evacuate the area. Police also reported that the speakers played the 1964 Petula Clark song “Downtown” before the explosion.
4. A recluse who never talked politics
Warner had been friendly but somewhat secretive, his neighbor Steve Schmoldt told The Tennesseean. Schmoldt lived next to Warner for more than two decades.
According to the neighbor, the suspect was “kind of low key to the point of, I don’t know, I guess some people would say he’s a little odd.”
“You never saw anyone come and go,” Schmoldt said of Warner’s home. “Never saw him go anywhere. As far as we knew, he was kind of a computer geek that worked at home.”
Warner placed lights and security cameras outside his house and built the fence around his yard. Schmoldt said he never talked about politics or religion with Warner.
“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 confided.
While Warner kept the RV parked outside the home for years, Schmoldt said that a couple of weeks ago, his neighbor built a gate in the fence and drove the RV into his yard. “We didn’t really pay any attention it was gone until the FBI and ATF showed up,” the neighbor said of the RV.
Schmoldt watched the news of the explosion on Christmas morning, but he did not make the connection until Saturday, when law enforcement came to the suspect’s home.
“Holy cow, there’s a SWAT team out there,” Schmoldt recalled his wife saying.
5. Odd real estate moves
Warner’s own mother took her son to court after he transferred ownership of a second family home to himself about one month before his brother died in 2018. In February 2019, his mother asked a judge to overturn the real estate transfer, claiming that Warner, who was his brother’s power of attorney, abused his authority to transfer the property to himself. The judge dismissed the case in October 2019 at the mother’s request. Attorney Yancy Belcher said the family asked the mother not to speak to the media.
According to court records, Warner transferred ownership of his residence to an individual with a Los Angeles address on November 25 for $0. In retrospect, this transfer may appear to have been a warning about Warner’s future plans.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.