Christmas Day took on a somber tone in Nashville, Tennessee, this year with a horrifying explosion that rocked a downtown block on Friday morning.
According to WSMV, authorities announced that they found apparent human remains at the epicenter of the blast.
“Quite a challenge”
As of the latest reports available, local officials continued to examine evidence in an effort to determine why a recreational vehicle detonated in an area virtually devoid of people.
News of the human remains reportedly discovered at the scene came shortly before an announcement that law enforcement personnel had identified a person of interest in connection to the bombing. Authorities declined to release that person’s name during a press update on Saturday.
Multiple agencies were reportedly called in to help with the investigation, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
There was no initial indication that the incident was terror-related and officials neither revealed the identity of the remains found near the scene of the explosion nor whether those remains were linked to someone inside or near the RV.
U.S. Attorney Donald Cochran described the scene as “quite a challenge” to comb for evidence.
“Giant jigsaw puzzle”
He said that bomb technicians were working to solve a “giant jigsaw puzzle created by a bomb that throws pieces of evidence across multiple city blocks.”
Updates continued into Saturday amid speculation by some that the explosion targeted a nearby AT&T building. Journalist David French confirmed that the incident resulted in communications outages for hours, including cell, internet, and 911 services.
“A disconcerting Christmas ends here in TN – a stunning display of the vulnerability of our communications infrastructure to a single bomb,” he tweeted on Friday. “BNA grounded for hours. 911 outages for hours. Cell and internet still down for millions. I went downtown and the physical damage is shocking.”
Among the immediate questions that the incident raised were those related to the security and safety of those living in or traveling to the city. Mayor John Cooper, a Democrat, addressed those concerns in a public statement on Friday.
“We can rebuild and get back to normal,” he said. “This morning’s attack on our community was intended to create chaos and fear in this season of peace and hope, but the spirit of our city cannot be broken.”