A driver of white box truck has been detained and charged by the local police in Tennessee after people complained of hearing a message 'similar to the one heard' in downtown Nashville before the recreational vehicle exploded on Christmas Day.
On Sunday evening (local time), the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office informed the media that the truck was pulled over on Murfreesboro Road about a half-an-hour east from where the downtown Nashville RV explosion had taken place just two days before.
Residents in the nearby area were evacuated and the Highway 231 was blocked, while an explosive material detection robot thoroughly searched the vehicle. Thankfully, no explosives were found.
Just hours before dawn on Christmas Day, the Nashville RV had blared a recorded warning in female voice calling for people to evacuate, and then played Petula Clark's 1964 song "Downtown" before it blew up. But the police, in the new case, did not specify what the box truck was playing.
Truck driver detained mid-way
Detailing the incident following hours-long investigation, the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that the driver, identified as James Turgeon, 33, had traveled from Rutherford County into Wilson County where he was stopped by deputies and detained midway.
On Sunday night, Turgeon was charged with two counts of felony filing a false report and one count of tampering with evidence.
They said that the driver was playing the audio loudly outside the Crossroads Market in Walter Hill. During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that Turgeon made a "similar announcement" at Kings Chapel Independent Missionary Baptist Church at Jefferson Pike and Dunaway Chapel Road while church was in service.
Followingly, the police said they received a call around 10:30 a.m. (local time) that a truck parked at a convenience store was heard playing the audio. The driver had left by then and made it to Wilson County before officers made a traffic stop, according to the release.
According to news reports and recordings of the Nashville incident, a recorded message which warned people to evacuate was heard coming from a parked RV just before a Christmas Day blast. But the Sheriff's officials did not specify what the box truck was playing. As a precautionary measure, nearby residents were evacuated during the investigation, the police said.
A warning before Nashville explosion
On Saturday, the local police began searching a home in rural Antioch, Tennessee, in connection with the Christmas Day bombing.
On Sunday, media reports stated that DNA tests conducted on human remains found in the wreckage of the bombing match a 63-year-old man who had been identified as a person of interest in the investigation.
BREAKING: Law enforcement is now announcing that Anthony Warner, 63, of Bakertown Rd, is the man believed responsible for Friday's explosion. He perished in the blast. No one else is presently believed to have been involved. Thank you to our federal & state partners. pic.twitter.com/PwMa1MwHvd— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 27, 2020
Law enforcement officials said that the man, identified as Anthony Quinn Warner, had died in the explosion. There were no indications of anyone else being involved in the bombing, they said further.
Nearby residents of the bombed area informed The New York Times they heard what they thought were gunshots early on Friday (local time), then they noticed the RV parked across the street.
"It started playing this message," a resident recalled. "'Evacuate now. This vehicle has a bomb and will explode. Evacuate now.'"
When the voice began the countdown, she said, she and her family abandoned their apartment and rushed to safety. "It's not like bad weather or a fire, or something like that," she said. "You're going, 'OK, is this for real?' Well, it was."