The man thought to have been behind Nashville’s Christmas Day explosion reportedly told a neighbour days before the incident that “Nashville and the world” were never going to forget him.
Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, killed himself and injured three people nearby when a bomb in his camper van exploded in the heart of the city.
Neighbour Rick Laude has told The Associated Press he was speechless on learning authorities had identified Warner as the suspect in the powerful blast, which also damaged dozens of buildings.
Mr Laude said he saw Warner standing at his mailbox on December 21 pulled over in his car to talk. After asking how Warner’s elderly mother was doing, Mr Laude said he casually asked: “Is Santa going to bring you anything good for Christmas?”
Warner had smiled and said: “Oh yeah, Nashville and the world is never going to forget me.”
Mr Laude said he did not think much of the remark and thought Warner only meant “something good” was going to happen for him financially.
“Nothing about this guy raised any red flags,” Mr Laude said. “He was just quiet.”
Mr Laude said Warner sometimes did not respond when he and other neighbours waved to him, but said he did not take it personally.
“I knew that he was just a recluse,” he said.
As investigators continued to search for a motive, body camera video released late Monday by Nashville police offered more insight to the moments leading up to the explosion and its aftermath.
The recording from Officer Michael Sipos’ camera captures officers walking past the RV parked across the street as the recorded warning blares and then helping people evacuate after the thunderous blast off camera.
Car alarms and sirens wailed as a police dispatch voice called for all available personnel and people stumbled through downtown streets littered with glass.
Warner left behind clues that suggest he planned the bombing and intended to kill himself, but a clear motive remained elusive.