Neighbors told the Tennessean that Anthony Quinn Warner was a loner who had closed himself off prior to the Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville that took his life and left three other people injured.
Just weeks ago, Warner built a fence around his house to keep others out, pulled his RV into the driveway, and shut the gate.
It was the same vehicle he packed with explosives and detonated in downtown Nashville on Friday morning in front of an AT&T building.
The newspaper quoted neighbor Steve Schmoldt as saying Warner was “a little odd.”
“You never saw anyone come and go. Never saw him go anywhere. As far as we knew, he was kind of a computer geek that worked from home,” he said.
Revelations into why Warner blew himself up near an AT&T building in Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas Day, began to emerge on Sunday.
The local computer expert was believed to be paranoid about 5G technology, one report said.
A source close to the investigation told the NBC News affiliate in Nashville that the agents were probing if Warner feared that the 5G technology was being used to spy on Americans.
A Nashville real estate agent confirmed Warner’s 5G fears. He told NBC News he called the FBI on Saturday after seeing the person of interest’s name in the news.
The Mayor of Nashville John Cooper said on CBS’s Face The Nation on Sunday that it was believed the bombing was aimed at telecommunications giant AT&T, the parent company of CNN.
Federal investigators were also looking into warner’s connection with a 29-year-old Los Angeles woman named Michelle Swing, multiple reports said.
Warner signed the deed to his $160,000 suburban Nashville home over to Swing for free last month, The New York Post reported quoting county property records it uncovered.
Swing declined to speak with The Post but told the Daily Mail that the transfer happened “without my knowledge.” It was not clear what type of relationship both had.
The Mail also reported on Saturday night, quoting property records, that Warner had transferred another home to the woman for no money. The property, on the same street as the first, was valued at $249,000, according to the publication.
U.S. Federal investigators on Saturday evening searched warner’s home.
Law enforcement officials were at the home of Warner in Antioch, in suburban Nashville, after they received key details relevant to their investigation.
Officials now believe that the bomber died at the scene of the blast. They are now saying that it was a suicide bombing.
CBS Chief Justice and Homeland Security Correspondent Jeff Pegues was the first person to name Anthony Quinn Warner as a person of interest, quoting his sources.
“..#exclusive@CBSNews has learned the name of a person of interest tied to the explosion that rocked #Nashville on #Christmas Day. Multiple sources tell us that Anthony Quinn Warner, a Nashville area resident, had a similar make and model RV,” Pegues tweeted on Saturday afternoon.
Pegues had tweeted earlier that the police had identified a person of interest in connection with the bombing.
At a press briefing on Saturday, authorities did not identify the suspect in public, but said there was no other imminent threat to the city of Nashville, adding that the curfew in downtown will remain in place until Sunday afternoon as police collate all the evidence.
Federal authorities, including the FBI, said they had received more than 500 tips and leads that are being investigated, adding that there is no manhunt in connection with the bombing.
On Friday, cops recovered human remains near the site of Nashville of the bombing.
A curfew instituted around the site of the blast to preserve the evidence started around 4.30 p.m. local time and will go through Sunday afternoon.
At least 40 businesses were damaged in the blast, Mayor John Cooper of Nashville said at a press briefing on Friday night.
The massive bomb blast sent buildings shaking as far as nine blocks away, and leaving at least three people injured.
Eye witness Betsy Williams speaking on CNN described what she heard before the bomb went off. She said there were gunshots and a “computerized” message warning people to evacuate the area before the bomb went off.
She said the first time she heard the gunshots was between 4.30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Christmas Day. She said after hearing the gunshots again and siting an RV out the window they called 911.
She said after hearing the gunshots for third time, they called 911 again before they eventually came.
U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. was briefed on the Nashville explosion in the state of Tennessee on Christmas Day, his office said in a brief statement on Friday.
“President-elect Biden has been briefed on the explosion in Nashville, TN. The president -elect and Dr. Biden thank all the first responders working today in response to the incident, and wish those who were injured a speedy recovery,” Biden’s office said.
“This appears to have been an intentional act,” Nashville Metro Police tweeted.
“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,” the Metro Police said.
At an earlier briefing, the Nashville police spokesperson, Don Aaron, said police dogs were searching the area to make sure there are “no secondary devices”, and that down downtown Nashville has been sealed off.
Police said everything started with a 911 call reporting gunshots in the area. When officers arrived, they heard a pre-recorded message in a vehicle that it will explode within 15 minutes.
The first responders then alerted the department’s hazardous devices unit. That unit was on its way when a “significant explosion” happened, sending three people to hospital with injuries.
The vehicle in question was a recreational vehicle often abbreviated as RV, the type of motor vehicle or trailer which includes quarters designed for accommodation.
Police released the picture of the RV on Friday afternoon and called for help from members of the public.
Police in Nashville wrote: “BREAKING: This is the RV that exploded on 2nd Ave N this morning. It arrived on 2nd Ave at 1:22 a.m. Have you seen this vehicle in our area or do you have information about it? Please contact us via Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463 or online via http://fbi.gov/nashville. @ATFHQ.”
Preliminary facts seemed to indicate the explosion was not designed to cause mass casualties.
The White House said President Donald Trump has been briefed, getting updates and is praying for the people who were injured. The president also thanked the first responders.
The FBI in Memphis later took over the investigation to provide more resources, the agency said. It is no clear yet whether police have determined that the massive explosion that was heard miles away was a terrorist act.
“It looks like a bomb went off,” Mayor John Cooper said after touring the damage.
The mayor said he saw broken glass and water mains with insulation “blown up” into the trees. He said it was too soon for any conclusions.
Cooper said the downtown area will be sealed off for further investigations and to make sure everything is “completely safe.” “One more event in Nashville’s 2020,” the mayor added.
Authorities said they believe the massive explosion was an “intentional act” sparked by a vehicle. The initial conclusion pointed to an act of domestic or foreign terror.
Police responded to a suspicious vehicle parked outside the AT&T building just before 6 a.m.
However, police said upon arrival, an officer “had reason” to alert the department’s hazardous devices unit.
That unit was on its way when a “significant explosion” happened, sending three people to hospital with injuries.