A recently uncovered police report from 2019 shows that Nashville police already had a warning about Anthony Warner, the bomber who set the blast in downtown Nashville.
On Christmas Day, 2020, Warner drove an RV full of explosive fertilizer into the crowded downtown region of Nashville, Tennessee. Then, using a loudspeaker, he warned nearby people to evacuate as the vehicle held a bomb. It then detonated, damaging surrounding buildings, killing Warner and injuring three people on the scene.
Police are still unsure of Warner’s exact motives, though they suspect he was trying to damage the nearby AT&T building. In fact, his suicide bombing did result in the region losing some cellphone and internet coverage. Now, many hard questions are being asked of Nashville police, including why they didn’t act on the information they had about Warner in 2019.
The 2019 report indicates that police were contacted by Warner’s girlfriend more than a year before the fatal bombing. On August 21, 2019, officers responded to a call to visit Pamela Perry’s residence after she was observed making suicidal threats on her front porch and brandishing firearms. Upon arriving, Perry indicated she thought her boyfriend was making a bomb in his RV. Her boyfriend, who she identified as “Tony Warner,” allegedly owned the two unloaded pistols she’d been seen with.
Perry then told police she didn’t want them in her house, though she spoke with mental health professionals on the phone after indicating that her mental health was not sound. Police transported Perry for a psychological evaluation. Her attorney, Raymond Throckmorton, then arrived and spoke to police. According to the police report, he warned authorities that Warner was capable of making a bomb. He told authorities that Warner often discussed the military and struck Throckmorton as a dangerous person.
Following this incident, police went to Warner’s home to look for him and his alleged RV bomb. They saw his RV in his backyard, which was fenced in, but Warner never responded to their knocks. The police then passed the incident report along to their hazardous materials unit. This was the last interaction police had with Warner before his bombing attack.
Throckmorton has recently told the media that he believes “somebody dropped the ball” regarding his warning about Warner’s criminal activity. However, authorities maintain that Throckmorton himself told them he instructed Warner to not allow police to inspect his vehicle. “They saw no evidence of a crime and had no authority to enter his home or fenced property,” Nashville authorities stated.
It is unclear why Warner detonated the explosive. His motives for choosing Christmas morning, for playing the Petula Clark song “Downtown” before detonating the bomb, and for staying in the RV when he detonated the explosive may never be known.