Police in Rutherford and Wilson Counties in Tennesee are investigating a suspicious box truck that was parked at a convenience store playing audio that was similar to that heard coming from the RV that exploded on a Nashville street on Christmas morning.
Three people, including two police officers, were injured in that blast, which left debris strewn around several Nashville city blocks.
According to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, “dispatchers received a call about 10:30 a.m. about the white box truck parked at Crossroads Market in Walter Hill. Deputies located the truck and made the traffic stop.”
“The driver traveled from Rutherford County into Wilson County where he was stopped by deputies and detained,” they said in a Facebook post. “Rutherford and Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol are working together in the ongoing investigation.”
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The Wilson County Sheriff’s Office closed Highway 231 from the Cedars of Lebanon State Park to Richmond Shop road “due to the suspicious vehicle.” Drivers were advised to seek alternate routes.
Highway 231 South from the Cedars of Lebanon State Park to Richmond Shop road is currently shut down due to a suspicious vehicle. Please avoid the area and seek an alternate route. We will post updates as more information comes in.
— Wilson Co Sheriff (@wilsonsheriff) December 27, 2020
Police said that, as a precaution, nearby residents were evacuated from the area.
The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office now reports that no “device” was found in the box truck. “Federal and state authorities did not detect a device after checking a suspicious box truck traveling Sunday in Rutherford County,” authorities said.
Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said the case “remains an active investigation.”
“Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputies, with help from Wilson County Sheriff’s deputies, stopped the driver in Wilson County and detained him,” officials said.
According to Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Miller, their Special Operations Unit “used a robot to check the vehicle.”
“No device was detected,” Miller said.
Local reporter Brittany Weiner tweeted a picture of the bomb squad reporting to the scene:
A robot is out moving towards the box truck. pic.twitter.com/9dynfHJhRO
— Brittany Weiner (@brittweinerTV) December 27, 2020
Weiner said that according to police, a minor was in the vehicle with the suspect.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was on the scene and said certified explosives specialists and resources from ATF’s National Center for Explosives Training and Research collaborated with the Tennessee Highway Patrol in the investigation.
Meanwhile, police said in a press conference Sunday afernoon that investigators have identified the suspect of the RV bombing in Nashville as 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner.
Human tissue samples found at the scene of the explosion by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI were consistent with Warner’s, officials said. A vehicle identification number lifted from the bombed-out truck also shows that the vehicle was registered to Warner.
Officials say they do not yet have a motive for the crime, and there is “no indication” that anyone else was involved. The investigation is ongoing but police say that Nashville is “considered safe” and that there are “no known threats against the city.”
Nevertheless, a curfew remains in place in the area of the blast as investigators continue to sift through the evidence.