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"Damage is shocking": Authorities receive over 500 tips in Nashville explosion investigation

Federal prosecutors and Nashville police on Saturday said they are following more than 500 leads and tips in their investigation into an explosion that rocked downtown Nashville, Tennessee, on Christmas morning.

The big picture: The explosion, which injured at least three people, caused widespread telephone, internet and other outages in central Tennessee and in parts of neighboring states. Governor Bill Lee said on Saturday that he has asked President Trump for federal assistance in the state's relief efforts.


  • The White House did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment, but a spokesperson previously said that Trump had been briefed on the incident.

Before Friday's explosion, witnesses reportedly heard a voice from the RV, saying, "Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode." 

  • The voice then started a 15-minute countdown and playing music.
  • Officers, responding to an early morning call on Friday for shots fired, encountered the RV as the recording played, police said. The officers began evacuating nearby buildings.
  • The RV exploded around 6:30 a.m. CT, according to authorities.
  • Lee said preliminary reports show at least 41 buildings and businesses were damaged.

What they're saying: "We will get to the bottom of this [and] we will find out the story of this individual or individuals ... of this ultimate Scrooge, who on Christmas morning instead of spreading joy and cheer, decided to spread devastation and destruction," U.S. attorney Donald Cochran said Saturday afternoon.

  • Nashville Metro Police Chief John Drake added that "Nashville is safe. We feel and know that we have no known threats at this time."
  • Gov. Lee tweeted after visiting the site of the explosion said that the "damage is shocking and it is a miracle that no residents were killed."

Caitlyn Jenner files paperwork to run for governor of California

Former Olympic decathlete and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner has filed her initial paperwork to run for governor of California and will officially announce her bid later today, her campaign tells Axios.

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Why it matters: Malaria kills over 400,000 people a year, more than half of them children under the age of 5. Deaths have fallen in half over the past 20 years thanks to investment in prevention and drugs, but a truly effective malaria vaccine would represent one of the greatest victories in the history of public health.

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87% of Americans are worried about inflation

Data: CivicScience; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Americans are growing more concerned about rising costs and are consistently boosting their inflation expectations, new data show.

Driving the news: A new survey from CivicScience shows 87% of those surveyed in a representative sample of U.S. adults say they are at least "somewhat concerned" about the increasing cost of household expenses (all numbers are rounded to the nearest percentage point).

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SpaceX launches crew of four to the International Space Station

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The big picture: This marks the third time SpaceX has launched people to space for NASA, helping the space agency end its reliance on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft and rocket for trips to the space station.

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Biden will unveil eye-popping new tax rates for wealthiest Americans

President Biden in the next few days will unveil eye-popping new tax rates for the wealthiest Americans —a top marginal income tax rate of 39.6% and a capital gains rate of 43.4%.

Why it matters: The proposal, to be announced ahead of Biden's address to Congress next Wednesday, is an opening bid for Hill negotiations.

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The next generation of coronavirus vaccines won't come as quickly

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Why it matters: That initial flood of cash worked — it delivered multiple, highly effective vaccines in record time. In other disease areas, though, second- and third-generation vaccines usually become the dominant products. And the first COVID-19 vaccines aren't necessarily a great fit for the whole world.

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The Biden climate doctrine emerges at summit

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  • Here are a few pillars of the emerging Biden doctrine.
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