According to police, officers from the Metro Nashville Police Department were responding to a shot during a CT shot at 5:30 a.m. Friday when they came upon an RV parked in front of the AT&T Transmission Building at 166th Avenue North.
Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said during a news conference on Friday that the RV was running a recorded message indicating the bomb exploded in 15 minutes.
Police said officers saw no immediate evidence of a shootout, but requested the department’s unit of dangerous equipment and began ejecting residents from the neighborhood, police said.
Police spokesman Don Aaron said the bomb squad was responding when the RV exploded at 6:30 pm CT.
“We believe it has been a deliberate act,” he said. “The infrastructure on 2 Avenue North has suffered significant damage.”
According to Nashville Fire spokesman Joseph Pleasant, three people were rushed to hospitals from the scene, but none were in critical condition.
The force of the explosion dropped one officer, Aaron said, and caused hearing loss in the other – hopefully temporarily, he said. But none of the officers were injured.
Authorities have no information on whether there was anyone inside the RV when the explosion occurred, Aaron said.
There were no known credible threats in the Nashville area that indicated an imminent attack on or before Christmas, a federal law enforcement source told CNN.
A second law enforcement source said federal officials are not aware of any increased nonsense by known extremist groups nationally that would imply any credible plan to conduct attacks around the holidays.
Acting US Attorney General Jeff Rosen was briefed on the incident, according to his spokesman, “and directed that all DOJ resources be made available to assist in the investigation.”
The White House said President Donald Trump has also been briefed and will receive “regular updates”.
Tennessee Government. Bill Lee said in a statement on Twitter that the state would “supply all the resources needed” to determine the cause of the explosion.
‘Everything on the road was on fire’
Eyewitness Buck McCoy told CNN that the explosion occurred right in front of his house, which blew his windows.
“Everything on the road was on fire,” he said. “There were three cars that were fully loaded.”
McCoy said he had originally woken up to what he believed were gunshots before the explosion. He got up and looked out of the window, he said, but went back to bed when he saw nothing.
Asked if the noise he heard could be anything other than a gunshot, McCoy insisted that he believed he owned the gun and went to the shooting, so he could shoot the bullets. Is familiar with the voice of.
McCoy told CNN that when he looked outside after the explosion, trees had fallen and glass was broken everywhere. They saw people walking out of their apartments with their animals. He said firefighters asked the area to move as far as possible.
“There’s nothing left on 2nd Avenue,” he said.
Withdrawal ‘life survived’
Prior to the explosion, officers had moved door-to-door or apartment-to-apartment to inform residents of the situation, Aaron said. A man walking a dog on 2nd Avenue was redirected by an officer just before the RV explosion.
“We think the lives were saved by those officers,” Aaron said Friday afternoon.
Foster said FBI lab technical experts and evidence response teams have been brought in from across the country “to help the process of mass crime”.
ATF Special Agent in Charge Mickey French said his agency had activated its national response teams and was working with the FBI and MNPD. The agency has explosives specialists, chemists and engineers involved in the evidence recovery process.
Officials with the Nashville Fire Department are in the area to assess the structural integrity of the buildings and to make sure there are no other victims, said Chief William Swan.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper told CNN that dozens of buildings had been damaged, mostly from glass bursting. The mayor said some buildings have been evacuated, but he does not know how many buildings or how many people have been affected.
“Right now, there is a whole lot of glass damage on 2nd Avenue,” he said.
An old, historic part of the city has a road on the edge of the City of Tennessee’s hospitality and tourist district.
“Fortunately many people are not here,” he said.
AT&T spokesman Jim Greer told CNN that the blast damaged the company’s network hub and could affect service in the Nashville area.
CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, is owned by AT&T.
Paul P. of CNN Murphy, Karma Hassan, Evan Perez, Josh Campbell, Brian Stelter and Devon Sears contributed to this report.