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.

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read