‘Downtown’ by Petula Clark played from RV prior to Nashville explosion

U.S. & World

Emergency personnel work near the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. Buildings shook in the immediate area and beyond after a loud boom was heard early Christmas morning.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The mid-1960s classic “Downtown” by Petula Clark played from the RV parked in downtown Nashville prior to the explosion that damaged more than 40 buildings and injured at least three people Christmas morning.

“What I remembered was ‘downtown, where the lights shine bright,’” Metro Officer Tyler Luellen said of the song playing, as he and his fellow officers worked fast to evacuate people in the area of Second Avenue North and Commerce Street.

Officer Luellen was one of six officers who spoke to the media Sunday morning about their efforts to clear the area around downtown Nashville, as the RV played messages, including a countdown, warning it would detonate. A bomb inside the RV exploded around 6:30 a.m. Friday, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

The officer said he looked up the song later and discovered it was “Downtown” by Petula Clark, the chart-topping song that begins, “when you’re alone and life is making you lonely, you can always go downtown.”

During the media briefing, Officer James Wells revealed the RV had surveillance cameras on it.

“There was also cameras on the RV like surveillance cameras above the mirror,” Officer Wells explained. “It felt like whoever was behind it was watching us.”

Officer Wells suffered temporary hearing loss as a result of the blast and Officer Luellen was knocked to the ground. Three other people were transported to area hospitals with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening, according to Metro police.

Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, has since been identified as the suspect in the bombing and authorities say he died in the blast. His remains were found at the scene of the bombing. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said detectives were able to match Warner’s DNA from the scene to a hat and gloves he owned.

Federal authorities are looking into whether he may have been motivated, at least in part, by “paranoia over 5G technology.”

The investigation into the blast remains ongoing.

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