‘Announcements coming’ from RV in Nashville before it exploded in apparent ‘intentional act’: Police

carlballou/iStockBy EMILY SHAPIRO, AARON KATERKSY, ABC News

A parked recreational vehicle exploded in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas morning, in what Nashville police believe was an “intentional act.”

Nashville police officers were at first called to a report of shots fired. There was no evidence of shots fired but police noticed a suspicious RV with no tags parked across from the Davidson County courthouse.

Police say the RV was playing a recording saying that a bomb would go off within 15 minutes.

The bomb squad was called and the area was evacuated. Around 6:30 a.m., as the bomb squad responded, the RV exploded, blowing out the windows of nearby buildings and leaving extensive damage.

MNPD, FBI & ATF investigating the 6:30 a.m. explosion on 2nd Ave N linked to a vehicle. This appears to have been an intentional act. Law enforcement is closing downtown streets as investigation continues. pic.twitter.com/YOfMTaKmTH

— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 25, 2020

The explosion knocked one officer to the ground. Another officer sustained temporary hearing loss.

Three people were transported to the hospital with minor injuries. No significant injuries have been reported.

It’s not known whether anyone was in the RV when it exploded, authorities said.

Nashville International Airport said it was temporarily halting flights Friday afternoon “due to telecommunications issues” associated with the blast.

Resident Buck McCoy said he heard gunshots before the explosion, which “blew everything all over the entire apartment.”

“All the windows came in from the living room into the bedroom,” he told ABC News. “There was glass everywhere from the windows. There wasn’t really any part of the apartment that wasn’t damaged or pushed or moved or affected by the explosion … the whole apartment was just completely a mess.”

“My building is pretty tall and pretty strong so it had to have been a very strong explosion to blow out all those windows,” he said.

Several buildings suffered structural damage, authorities said.

McCoy said he “started to go downstairs, saw some people in the hallway — they were in shock, you know, they’re crying.”

He then reached the street which he said looked “like a movie … it was just surreal.”

The debris field extends for at least a few blocks. Streets around the exploded vehicle have been closed down.

In the search for the suspect, there are “investigate leads to be pursued” and “technical work that needs to happen,” the FBI said.

“We will find out what happened here,” the FBI said.

These are pictures from 2nd Avenue south. Windows were broken out from explosion area to Broadway. Please AVOID this area! Media staging is at 2nd Avenue south and KVB. pic.twitter.com/tocdpHWFgj

— Nashville Fire Dept (@NashvilleFD) December 25, 2020

Police have been sweeping the area with a K9 unit out of precaution, but Nashville Police Chief John Drake said there is no concern, and that “we know of no other imminent danger to the city at this point.”

President Donald Trump and acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen have been briefed on the incident.

The FBI is now the lead investigative agency.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are responding.

This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.

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Nashville police officers were at first called to a report of shots fired. There was no evidence of shots fired but police noticed a suspicious RV with no tags parked across from the Davidson County courthouse.

The bomb squad was called and around 6:30 a.m., as the bomb squad responded, the RV exploded, blowing out the windows of nearby buildings and leaving extensive damage.