A vehicle destroyed in a Christmas Day explosion remains on the street Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. Officials have named 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner as the man behind the bombing in which he was killed, but the motive has remained elusive. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

A vehicle destroyed in a Christmas Day explosion remains on the street Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. Officials have named 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner as the man behind the bombing in which he was killed, but the motive has remained elusive. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Nashville man’s girlfriend warned police he was building bombs

The bombing happened on Christmas morning, well before downtown streets were bustling with activity

More than a year before Anthony Warner detonated a bomb in downtown Nashville on Christmas, officers visited his home after his girlfriend told police that he was building bombs in an RV trailer at his residence, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. But they were unable to make contact with him, or see inside his RV.

Officers were called to Pamela Perry’s home in Nashville on Aug. 21, 2019, after getting a report from her attorney that she was making suicidal threats while sitting on her front porch with firearms, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said Tuesday in an emailed statement. A police report said Raymond Throckmorton, the attorney, told officers that day that he also represented Warner.

When officers arrived at Perry’s home, police said she had two unloaded pistols sitting next to her on the porch. She told them those guns belonged to “Tony Warner,” police said, and she did not want them in the house any longer. Perry, then 62, was then transported for a psychological evaluation after speaking to mental health professionals on the phone.

Throckmorton told The Tennessean that Perry had fears about her safety, and thought Warner may harm her. The attorney was also at the scene that day, and told officers Warner “frequently talks about the military and bomb making,” the police report said. Warner “knows what he is doing and is capable of making a bomb,” Throckmorton said to responding officers.

Police then went to Warner’s home, located about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) from Perry’s home, but he didn’t answer the door when they knocked several times. They saw the RV in the backyard, the report said, but the yard was fenced off and officers couldn’t see inside the vehicle.

The report said there also were “several security cameras and wires attached to an alarm sign on the front door” of the home. Officers then notified supervisors and detectives.

“They saw no evidence of a crime and had no authority to enter his home or fenced property,” the police statement said.

After officers visited Warner’s home last August, the police department’s hazardous devices unit was given a copy of the police report. During the week of August 26, 2019, they contacted Throckmorton. Police said officers recalled Throckmorton saying Warner “did not care for the police,” and that he wouldn’t allow Warner “to permit a visual inspection of the RV.”

Throckmorton disputes that he told police they couldn’t search the vehicle. “I have no memory of that whatsoever,” he told The Tennessean. “I didn’t represent him anymore. He wasn’t an active client. I’m not a criminal defence attorney.”

Throckmorton told the newspaper he represented Warner in a civil case several years ago, and that Warner was no longer his client in August 2019. “Somebody, somewhere dropped the ball,” he said.

A day after officers visited Warner’s home, the police report and identifying information about Warner were sent to the FBI to check their databases and determine whether Warner had prior military connections, police said.

Later that day, the police department said “the FBI reported back that they checked their holdings and found no records on Warner at all.” FBI spokesperson Darrell DeBusk told The Tennessean the agency had conducted a standard agency-to-agency record check.

Six days later, “the FBI reported that Department of Defence checks on Warner were all negative,” the police department said.

No other information about Warner came to the department or the FBI’s attention after August 2019, police said. “At no time was there any evidence of a crime detected and no additional action was taken,” the statement said. “The ATF also had no information on him.”

Warner’s only arrest was for a 1978 marijuana-related charge.

The bombing happened on Christmas morning, well before downtown streets were bustling with activity. Police were responding to a report of shots fired Friday when they encountered the RV blaring a recorded warning that a bomb would detonate in 15 minutes. Then, for reasons that may never be known, the audio switched to a recording of Petula Clark’s 1964 hit “Downtown” shortly before the blast. Dozens of buildings were damaged and several people were injured.

Investigators have not uncovered a motive for the Christmas day bombing nor was it revealed why Warner had selected the particular location, which damaged an AT&T building and wreaked havoc on cellphone, police and hospital communications in several Southern states as the company worked to restore service. The company said on Monday the majority of services had been restored for residents and businesses.

Kimberlee Kruesi And Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation man shot and killed by Tofino RCMP

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

Visitors relax at the natural hot springs located within Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. (tofinohiking.com photo)
Maquinna Marine Provincial Park boardwalk project on track

“The walk down the two-kilometre boardwalk to the springs itself is by far one of the most incredible experiences.”

WILDLIFE TREE: Tofino Poet Laureate Christine Lowther stands next to a giant cedar tree on District Lot 114, the site of Tofino’s controversial affordable housing project. The tree was pinned with an official Ministry of Forests yellow wildlife tree sign to educate fallers that the tree needs to be left standing for food, shelter and nesting. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Tofino author Christine Lowther calling for poetry about trees

“I’m thrilled to be of service to trees through poetry.”

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6. (Westerly file photo)
Tofino’s mayoralty candidates lay out key differences

Tofino will elect a new mayor and two new councillors on March 6.

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Search underway for missing woman after boat catches fire in Ladysmith harbour

A large boat caught fire on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 27

Lone orca from a pod that made its way north from Georgia Strait and into Discovery Passage on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Ella Smiley/<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Comoxvalleywildlifesightings/?ref=page_internal" target="_blank">Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings </a>
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Dasher is back home with mom Christine Girvin thanks to some help from BC Ferries staff. Photo supplied
The cat came back, with help from BC Ferries staff

After Dasher made a dash, staff in Comox found her and got her home safe

Most Read