The Nashville bomber left his neighbor with an ominous message that initially seemed innocuous until after the Christmas Day explosion, the Associated Press reported.
Rick Laude, the neighbor of alleged suicide bomber 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner, said that less than a week before Christmas, the two had a seemingly friendly exchange by Warner’s mailbox. Laude had pulled over in his car and asked Warner how his elderly mother was doing, and then asked “Is Santa going to bring you anything good for Christmas?”
Neighbor says bombing suspect told him days before Christmas explosion that ‘Nashville and the world is never going to forget me.’ https://t.co/ui1821QsTf
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 28, 2020
Laude told the AP that Warner smiled and said “Oh, yeah, Nashville and the world is never going to forget me.”
Laude interpreted the remark as meaning that “something good” would happen for Warner financially, and said that nothing about him “raised any red flags. He was just quiet.”
Warner was identified as the lone bomber after DNA at the scene was matched to samples taken at another location that investigators searched. Authorities do not believe anyone else was involved in the explosion besides Warner after reviewing hours of surveillance footage, which only showed Warner. He was not previously known to authorities, and his only arrest was in 1978 on a marijuana-related charge.(RELATED: Feds Use DNA Testing To Identify Anthony Q. Warner As Nashville Bomber)
Police are continuing to investigate a motive, but said that Warner had left behind clues that suggest he planned the bombing and suicide, according to the AP.
The #FBI and #ATF are seeking info concerning the owner of the RV, Anthony Quinn Warner, linked to the explosion in downtown Nashville on Friday morning. Recognize him? Call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit tips online at https://t.co/hG6KFmQ7dG. @FBI @ATFHQ @ATFNashville pic.twitter.com/o8fqiHkATl
— FBI Memphis (@FBIMemphis) December 28, 2020
Without being able to speak to Warner, unearthing a motive is made more difficult. Investigators are considering the possibility that the AT&T building was targeted.
Investigators have found financial transactions that showed potential bomb-making components being purchased. Warner had also recently given away a vehicle and told the recipient that he had been diagnosed with cancer, although it’s unclear whether he had cancer.
He also had given away his home in Antioch, a Nashville suburb, for free to a Los Angeles woman exactly a month prior to the bombing. Investigators were able to link the RV that exploded to a vehicle registered to Warner.
Warner retired earlier in December. One of Warner’s former employers, Steve Fridrich, called the bombing “out of character,” and told the Tennessean that Warner had worked as a contract laborer in computer consulting for his company, Fridrich & Clark Realty.
“It does appear that the intent was more destruction than death, but again that’s all still speculation at this point as we continue in our investigation with all our partners,” David Rausch, the director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said Monday during an interview on NBC.
There were no bystander fatalities. In addition to damaging property across several city blocks, an AT&T central office took some of the impact. That building contained a telephone exchange and network equipment — and although it is not known exactly how many people were affected, widespread outages have continued to be a problem across Tennessee and have even spilled into Kentucky and northern Alabama.