Police say a spooky audio recording boomed from an RV parked in downtown Nashville early Christmas morning, just before the vehicle blew up and turned a historic stretch of the bar-lined tourist district into a glass-strewn shambles.
- Officers, responding to a 5:30 a.m. CT call for shots fired, encountered the RV as the recording played, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said at a televised briefing.
The officers began evacuating nearby buildings.
- "Shortly after that, the RV exploded," Drake said.
- An officer was knocked to the ground. No one was seriously hurt.
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 https://t.co/dVGS7o0m4v. @ATFHQ pic.twitter.com/JNx9sDinAH— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 25, 2020
The Tennessean reports that witnesses heard a voice from the RV: "Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode."
- "Then, the voice started a 15-minute countdown."
Mayor John Cooper described insulation "blown up" into trees, and he estimated about 20 buildings were hit.
- Authorities said the blast appeared intentional. The FBI took the lead.
Black smoke billowed from the area, which is packed with bars and restaurants, AP reported.