(NASHVILLE) Metro Police' bomb squad was on the way to investigate an RV parked outside the old Bell South communications building on Second Avenue North in downtown Nashville. As the first officer approached the vehicle, a recording was heard and the officer retreated.
In a Christmas morning press conference, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake explained what happened . . .
Several federal agencies have joined in on this investigation and the downtown business district has been sealed off in an effort to preserve any evidence. The lead investigation is now being done by the Memphis office of the FBI.
Metro Nashville Police Public Affairs Manager Don Aaron noted, "MNPD, FBI & ATF investigating the 6:30 a.m. explosion on 2nd Ave N linked to a vehicle. This appears to have been an intentional act. Law enforcement is closing downtown streets as investigation continues."
Officials explained that when there were previous explosions in other cities, it was sometimes the tiny bits of evidence that lead detectives to the perpetrator. Such things as tags on parts in the vehicle in which the explosives were stored or other miniscule particles of evidence.
Aaron continued, "Our canine teams are doing protective sweeps in the downtown area. Traffic downtown is restricted."
Early reports indicate that citizens who were in the area prior to the explosion, told police that there were shots fired earlier and messages from the RV warned the public to evacuate the area.
Metro Police have confirmed that several persons have been taken to the hospital after the explosion, but none with serious injuries. Something alerted one Metro Police officer who was evidently getting too close to the RV. Reportedly, he suddenly went in the opposite direction--the explosion occurred and he was knocked to the ground. That officer suffered a hearing loss, and official hope that it is a temporary injury.
As units from Metro Fire-Rescue arrived, heavy smoke and fire was visible.
The explosion of the RV at 166 Second Avenue North took place at 6:30AM Christmas morning (12/25/2020), and the concussion damaged historic old structures blocks away from ground zero.
There initially was confusion when the word was that the explosiong was at the AT&T building. It was not the structure known by many at the "Batman Building", but instead the city's old telephone communications hub on Second Avenue.
It is not known at this time whether that has had an impact on telephone communications in the area.
Here is an update on the situation from CBS News: CLICK HERE