Alleged Nashville bomber had hatred of police, was a ‘hippie’ according to former co-worker
The Nashville suicide bomber, Anthony Quinn Warner, reportedly used to spout anti-police rhetoric to a person he worked with. In his younger days, he also allegedly had a penchant for getting high and sported a Magnum PI mustache. Warner also liked the ladies and was popular with them. Which is strange, since he was never married.
Warner will be remembered for blowing himself up in his RV on Christmas morning in front of the AT&T transmission building in downtown Nashville, knocking out communications for days afterward. Three people were hurt in the blast. But miraculously, none were killed. That was in large part ironically due to six brave police officers who went door to door evacuating people before the blast. A recording played advising people in a digitized woman’s voice that they had 15 minutes to get out before the explosion.
The Daily Beast was the first to report that decades ago, Warner had a definite dislike for police. Tom Lundborg said he was a teenager when Warner allegedly told him: “I hate cops. They’re all corrupt.” Warner and Lundborg worked together for Lundborg’s father’s security system company A.C.E. Alarms at the end of the 1970s.
Warner and Lundborg spent many days for at least a couple of years working together and driving from job to job. The car rides would sometimes turn to conversations about the police. “Never trust a cop,” Lundborg recalled Warner telling him in one of the conversations.
“I worked with Tony as his helper. I kind of looked up to him. He was kind of a hippie. Had long hair, a Magnum, P.I. mustache,” Lundborg told The Daily Beast. “He was a smart, cocky kind of guy. I rode around with him all day every day—during the summers, at least for a couple years.”
Warner also told Lundborg he served in the Navy. It’s not clear whether he did or not.
On Christmas morning, police responded to a report of shots fired. They saw the RV and then heard the recording before it switched to Petula Clark’s “Downtown.” Just minutes later, the bomb detonated at approximately 6:30 a.m. 41 buildings were damaged and three people were wounded.
Body camera footage released by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department shows officers canvassing the area surrounding Second Avenue North and asking at least one person to move to a safer location as they investigated the suspicious vehicle.
“Your primary objective is to evacuate these buildings now,” a voice can be heard coming from the RV, according to the nearly 13-minute video recording. “Do not approach this vehicle.”
“That’s so weird,” the officer was heard remarking. “That’s like something out of a movie.”
“Like ‘The Purge,'” another officer responded.
It’s obvious that mass-murder was not the objective. Instead, it seems to be a political message. It is alleged that Warner was a conspiracy theorist who believed 5G cellular technology was killing people and may have been spurred on by the 2011 death of his father, who worked for telecom BellSouth, which later merged with AT&T. His father had dementia.
When the bomb went off, car alarms could be heard blaring, and debris landed along the surrounding area.
Warner, 63, seemed to have been prepping for his explosive departure from this world. He allegedly had cancer. He gave his car to his girlfriend and deeded two homes to a female executive who did not even know about them. He was an IT consultant and had told his employer that he was retiring.
No manifesto has been found so far and he did not have a clear digital footprint either. No one knows why exactly he blew himself up. It could have been that he really had no family left and that he didn’t have anyone to care for him while he was ill. This was how he chose to end it. In the end, perhaps it was just suicide and an attempt to take a poke at AT&T on the way out.
These photos were taken in #Nashville at the blast site. #FBI and #ATF Evidence Response Teams (ERT) continue to process the scene of the Christmas Day explosion in Nashville, TN. The teams are searching for evidence to assist in the ongoing investigation. pic.twitter.com/zhit76L1k5
— FBI Memphis (@FBIMemphis) December 29, 2020
Police stated that Warner had not been on their radar before Christmas. A law enforcement report released Monday showed that Warner’s only arrest was for a 1978 marijuana-related charge.
David Rausch, director of Tennessee’s Bureau of Investigation, told NBC’s “Today” show on Monday that officials might never get “a complete answer” as to why Warner detonated the bomb. He also noted that the audio recording leads investigators to believe Warner was not interested in hurting others.
“Obviously, the audio from the vehicle warning people that an explosion was imminent, the opportunity to clear the area, certainly gives you that insight that the possibility was that he had no intention of harming anyone but himself, but that obviously plays into our investigation,” he said. “It does appear that the intent was more destruction than death, but again, that’s all still speculation at this point as we continue in our investigation.”
A neighbor recalled a recent conversation with Warner that seemed very odd.
Rick Laude told Fox News on Monday that he and Warner chatted briefly less than a week before Christmas. After asking how Warner’s estranged elderly mother was doing, Laude said he asked his neighbor: “So, is Santa going to bring you anything good for Christmas?”
Warner smiled and ominously said, “I’m going to be famous. Nashville and the world is never going to forget me,” Laude recalled.
Laude said he never noticed any suspicious activity from Warner over the decade they knew each other.
“Anthony Warner, in my opinion, lived a very quiet life. Didn’t have a girlfriend or a wife, no kids,” Laude stated. “I guess in hindsight, I’m thinking that when he told me what he told me, he already knew. Certainly, he wasn’t going to tell me, ‘I’m going to blow up Second Avenue at 6:30 in the morning.’”