By Colin Murphy
January 21, 2021
On December 25th, 2020, a suicide bomber exploded his recreational vehicle in downtown Nashvile, injuring eight people and damaging buildings in the area.
The explosion occurred at 6:30am directly adjacent to an AT&T network hub, which resulted in days-long communication service outages, and extreme damage to the infrastructure of the building. . . This service facility was in possession of a telephone exchange that had loads of network equipment inside of it. The structural damage led to fires, which turned on the fire alarm and sprinkler systems, ruining the backup generators at the service facility. Outages occurred all over Middle Tennessee causing significant service interruptions. In addition, the explosion threatened many emergency response telephone lines and emergency response communications as, “Cellular, wireline telephone, internet and U-verse television service were affected, as were multiple local 9-1-1 and non-emergency phone networks in the region, along with Nashville’s COVID-19 community hotline and some hospital systems” (Tucker, Associated Press).
Not only were the lines down for emergency personnel, but also over the whole state of Tennessee.. “The Memphis Air Route Traffic Control Center experienced communication issues, leading the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ground flights from Nashville International Airport for about an hour” according to the Associated Press. The aftermath effects of the explosion didn’t just last a few hours, but instead a few days. What’s even worse is that during a pandemic the 9-1-1 services were affected by outages for days. That should not be able to happen statewide because of one building suffering from structure problems. Think about if multiple buildings across the nation were hit. What would our emergency response be able to do then?
Who was the perpetrator? Why did he do it? Authorities concluded that Anthony Quinn Warner, a local Nashville resident was the bomber. Yet, the FBI has no clear motive for his actions. Leading up to the bombing, the police had no reason to be attracted to Warner, but it was later revealed that Anthony Quinn Warner’s girlfriend, as well as her attorney had met with police on August 21, 2019. “The girlfriend said that Warner had been making bombs in the RV, and her attorney, who previously represented Warner, indicated that he believed her” according to the New York Times. With no real motive, the FBI is torn as to why Warner would do this. Some people across the country believe that he was working with terrorist organizations, while others think that Quinn Warner just believed he couldn’t die.