FBI investigates whether Nashville bomber tried to target cops in the blast

The FBI is probing whether Nashville’s Christmas Day bombing was deliberately designed to target police officers, after they were lured into the area prior to the massive explosion. 

The blast – which injured three people and caused massive damage to the city’s downtown area – emanated from a white RV parked on 2nd Avenue at 6.40 am Friday. 

Officers had been called to the scene shortly before the explosion amid reports of a shooting. However, they arrived to find the vehicle playing an announcement saying that it would explode in 15 minutes.

One expert is now theorizing that the spooky recording was designed to bring as many cops and first responders as possible into the area with the intention of killing or maiming them.  

‘I kind of think it was probably an idea to get first responders to come in,’ ex-NYPD Detective Bill Ryan told Fox News on Saturday. 

Ryan served as part of an arson and explosions task force, and believes an entire group of people may be behind the possible attack on law enforcement. 

‘You have to really wonder what the motivation of the bombers are – I don’t think this was one person, it was probably an organized group of people.’

Six cops have now been hailed as heroes after the descended on the area and tried to clear out pedestrians and residents before the bomb went off.    

The FBI is probing whether Nashville's Christmas Day bombing was deliberately designed to target police officers, amid reports that investigators have found human remains at the site of the blast. The RV which exploded is pictured

The FBI is probing whether Nashville's Christmas Day bombing was deliberately designed to target police officers, amid reports that investigators have found human remains at the site of the blast. The RV which exploded is pictured

The FBI is probing whether Nashville’s Christmas Day bombing was deliberately designed to target police officers, amid reports that investigators have found human remains at the site of the blast. The RV which exploded is pictured 

The blast injured three people and caused massive damage to the city's downtown area

The blast injured three people and caused massive damage to the city's downtown area

The blast injured three people and caused massive damage to the city’s downtown area 

Meanwhile, Nashville police confirmed late Friday that they are investigating whether human remains have been found at the site of the bomb blast. 

According to CNN, tissue was discovered at the scene, and forensic experts are now working to determine whether it is human. 

It is unclear whether anybody was inside the RV at the time it detonated. 

The gigantic blast caused damage to more than 40 buildings, with new videos showing the widespread impact it created. 

One shocking clip shared on social media shows an apartment building violently shaking during the blast. 

A resident told CNN on Saturday: I’ve never seen anything like it. It shook everything’

Meanwhile, other videos being shared widely on social media show people hiding for cover in buildings along 2nd Avenue as they were warned by cops that the RV could explode.  

One man was walking his dog right by the RV and heard the warning message emanating from the vehicle. 

Quick thinking cops quickly told him to get back just before the bomb went off. He told WKRN that it is a ‘Christmas miracle’ he is still alive. 

One man was walking his dog right by the RV and heard the warning message emanating from the vehicle. He is seen in a lobby on the city's downtown area just before the blast

One man was walking his dog right by the RV and heard the warning message emanating from the vehicle. He is seen in a lobby on the city's downtown area just before the blast

One man was walking his dog right by the RV and heard the warning message emanating from the vehicle. He is seen in a lobby on the city’s downtown area just before the blast

Quick thinking cops quickly told him to get back just before the bomb went off. He told WKRN that it is a 'Christmas miracle' he is still alive.

Quick thinking cops quickly told him to get back just before the bomb went off. He told WKRN that it is a 'Christmas miracle' he is still alive.

Quick thinking cops quickly told him to get back just before the bomb went off. He told WKRN that it is a ‘Christmas miracle’ he is still alive.

This was the scene immediately after the explosion on Friday morning in downtown Nashville

This was the scene immediately after the explosion on Friday morning in downtown Nashville

This was the scene immediately after the explosion on Friday morning in downtown Nashville

As of Saturday morning, the area has still been cordoned off and there is a strong police presence in the area. 

Nashville Mayor John Cooper says it will be ‘some time’ before 2nd Avenue is open as normal. 

On Friday evening, he  announced curfew on the area around the bomb site as the investigation continued. 

‘A curfew will start at 4:30pm, Friday Dec 25. and be lifted Sunday, December 27 at 4:30pm,’ he revealed in a tweet. 

The blast blew in windows from at least 41 buildings, according to CNN. One building is now partially collapsed. 

The RV was parked outside an AT&T facility, with the explosion causing network outages to the company’s phone and internet services. 

That issue sparked safety fears as 911 dispatchers were reportedly having trouble identifying the location of callers.  

USA Today reports on Saturday that outage issues lasted into the evening. It is now believed they have all been resolved.  

As of Saturday morning, the area has still been cordoned off and there is a strong police presence in the area

As of Saturday morning, the area has still been cordoned off and there is a strong police presence in the area

As of Saturday morning, the area has still been cordoned off and there is a strong police presence in the area

Nashville Mayor John Cooper says it will be 'some time' before 2nd Avenue and the surround downtown area is open as normal

Nashville Mayor John Cooper says it will be 'some time' before 2nd Avenue and the surround downtown area is open as normal

Nashville Mayor John Cooper says it will be ‘some time’ before 2nd Avenue and the surround downtown area is open as normal

Meanwhile, more information is being learned about the hero cops who tried to clear the area after they arrived to find the RV playing a recording saying it would explode. 

They were named by Metro Police Chief John Drake as Officer Brenna Hosey, Officer James Luellen, Officer Michael Sipos, Officer Amanda Topping, Officer James Wells and Sergeant Timothy Miller, as he praised them for rushing into danger to save others. 

The officers had been responding to reports of shots fired 40 minutes before the explosion when they found an RV located outside of an AT&T transmission building which was playing an announcement featuring a woman’s voice saying it would explode in 15 minutes.  

There was no evidence of shooting at the scene and it is not known of the sounds could also have come from the RV’s recording. Cops have not revealed who made the initial shooting report. 

They rushed to get people out of their homes while the ominous, pre-recorded message played over and over again with music playing inbetween each countdown, before the van eventually exploded at round 6.40am.  

‘These officers didn’t care about themselves,’ Chief Drake said. ‘They didn’t think about that. They cared about the citizens of Nashville. They went in and we’d be talking not about the debris that we have here but potential people.’  

Despite the devastation of the blast, miraculously only three people were injured. 

They were rushed to hospital in non-life threatening conditions.  

This is what is left of Second Avenue in downtown Nashville after the explosion on Friday morning. Police have not yet identified a suspect

This is what is left of Second Avenue in downtown Nashville after the explosion on Friday morning. Police have not yet identified a suspect

This is what is left of Second Avenue in downtown Nashville after the explosion on Friday morning. Police have not yet identified a suspect 

An aerial view of the scene in downtown Nashville on Friday morning after an ‘intentional’ explosion came from a parked car

The scale of the debris was enormous. All of 2nd Avenue between The entire street on second avenue was covered with it

The scale of the debris was enormous. All of 2nd Avenue between The entire street on second avenue was covered with it

The scale of the debris was enormous. All of 2nd Avenue between The entire street on second avenue was covered with it

FBI Special Agent in charge Matt Foster made a plea to the public for information on Friday night. 

‘The FBI stands with the city of Nashville today in this very tragic Christmas Day event.

‘This is our city too. We live here, we work here. We’re putting everything we have into finding who was responsible for what happened here today.  

‘There are leads that need to be pursued and technical works need to happen.’ 

Anyone with information about the incident has been asked to contact the FBI at www.fbi.gov/nashville or by calling them.  

On Friday night, star of CNBC’s The Profit Marcus Lemonis also offered a $250,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the culprit. 

It brought the reward total to $300,000 after previous smaller reward offers from Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., FOX Sports host Clay Travis, and Lewis Country Store.  

Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

A law enforcement member walks past damage from an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

A law enforcement member walks past damage from an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

A law enforcement member walks past damage from an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020

A vehicle burns near the site of an explosion in the area of Second and Commerce in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. December 25, 2020. It's unclear if this was the vehicle that caused the blast or not

A vehicle burns near the site of an explosion in the area of Second and Commerce in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. December 25, 2020. It's unclear if this was the vehicle that caused the blast or not

A vehicle burns near the site of an explosion in the area of Second and Commerce in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. December 25, 2020. It’s unclear if this was the vehicle that caused the blast or not

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