WASHINGTON – The man behind the Christmas Day bombing in the city of Nashville blew himself up in the explosion, the US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee said Sunday.
“We’ve come to the conclusion that an individual named Anthony Warner is the bomber. He was present when the bomb went off. He perished in the bombing,” Don Cochran told reporters in a press briefing.
The DNA taken from the scene was matched to Warner, 63, by forensic officials, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch.
The officials said they were investigating the motive behind the explosion, which injured three people and damaged at least 20 buildings.
The FBI said there was no indication of additional suspects and that it was too early to suggest a motive.
The blast outside a telecoms office disrupted communications systems in Tennessee and four other states.
During a press conference on Sunday, federal investigators said they believed that Warner, who worked in IT and had extensive experience with electronics, was the sole individual responsible for the blast and had died at the site.
They said the blast was probably deliberate.
According to public records, Warner had until recently lived in Antioch, a suburb of Nashville, where police searched a home on Saturday.
Neighbours also reported seeing a camper van at the premises, local media report.
Earlier, CBS News reported that a DNA sample had been collected from Warner’s mother.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski said officials had received about 500 tips relating to the explosion.
“We’re still following leads but right now there is no indication that any other persons were involved,” he said. “We reviewed hours of security video surrounding the recreation vehicle which saw no other people involved.”
Before the explosion in front of an AT&T transmission building in downtown Nashville, the RV was playing a recorded message: “If you can hear this message, evacuate now,” saying a bomb would detonate within 15 minutes, according to the police, while playing the well-known Petula Clark song Downtown.