RV Tennessee Explosion

FBI: Christmas Day Bombing Suspect Driven By Paranoia, Conspiracy Theories

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Metro Nashville Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have concluded a significant portion of the investigation into the explosion that occurred on December 25, 2020, at approximately 6:30 a.m. Central Time, in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

Following the explosion, the FBI worked closely with our law enforcement partners on a coordinated and comprehensive investigation. After recovering more than 3,000 pounds of evidence from the blast site, combing through more than 2,500 tips, and conducting more than 250 interviews, the investigative team has reached the following conclusions.

The investigation found that Anthony Quinn Warner of Antioch, Tennessee, acting alone, built and ultimately detonated the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. His actions were determined to not be related to terrorism.

The investigative team took diligent steps to determine the reason or reasons why Warner decided to construct and ultimately detonate his device in downtown Nashville on December 25, 2020. The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, based in Quantico, Virginia, further assisted the local investigative team in answering this question.

Based on analysis of the information and evidence gathered throughout the investigation, the FBI assesses Warner’s detonation of the improvised explosive device was an intentional act in an effort to end his own life, driven in part by a totality of life stressors – including paranoia, long-held individualized beliefs adopted from several eccentric conspiracy theories, and the loss of stabilizing anchors and deteriorating interpersonal relationships.

The FBI assesses Warner specifically chose the location and timing of the bombing so that it would be impactful, while still minimizing the likelihood of causing undue injury. The FBI’s analysis did not reveal indications of a broader ideological motive to use violence to bring about social or political change, nor does it reveal indications of a specific personal grievance focused on individuals or entities in and around the location of the explosion.

It is important to note that only Warner knows the real reason why he detonated his explosive device. However, at this time, the FBI is confident, based on evidence collected, Warner’s own writings, and interviews with those who knew him best, that the above assessment is accurate.

Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski of the FBI Memphis Field Office stated, “The FBI would like to thank the citizens and private sector partners of Nashville, Tennessee, for their support during the response and investigation, especially those who provided tips and volunteered their time and resources. Additionally, the collaborative efforts of all local, state and federal agencies who responded to this incident, and the hundreds of hours dedicated by their men and women, were truly invaluable to this unified effort. They exemplified the tireless dedication we’ve come to expect from those who respond to these types of critical incidents.”

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