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FBI Report: Nashville Bomber Driven By Conspiracies, Not Political Ideology

Rachel Iacovone | WPLN News

New information from the FBI finds that the man who blew himself up in Nashville on Christmas morning struggled with paranoia and believed in conspiracy theories. But the FBI says he was not motivated by social or political ideology and that he tried to minimize harm when taking his own life.

The FBI provided its report on the bombing Monday, marking the close of “a significant portion” of its investigation.

The agency says 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner, of Antioch, chose the location and timing of the blast to minimize injuries and that he acted alone. His actions were determined to “not be related to terrorism,” the FBI wrote.

Warner’s interpersonal relationships had been deteriorating. The FBI notes he also struggled with paranoia, eccentric conspiracy theories and the loss of “stabilizing anchors” in his life.

The agency’s findings attempt to answer some of the key questions about the explosion, which happened early on Christmas Day on Second Avenue North. It was preceded by a recorded warning that helped nearby residents to evacuate.

“The FBI’s analysis did not reveal indications of a broader ideological motive to use violence to bring about social or political change, nor does it reveal indications of a specific personal grievance focused on individuals or entities in and around the location of the explosion,” the FBI said.

The FBI does not indicate that Warner was motivated by conspiracy theories about 5G technology, despite the blast occurring immediately next to an AT&T transmission facility and disrupting phone and internet service.

The FBI says its case included 3,000 pounds of evidence from the blast site, 2,500 tips and 250 interviews.

Still ongoing are multiple reviews of the blast. The police department is reviewing its actions, including the handling of a 2019 tip and visit to Warner’s home after his girlfriend reported he was building a bomb in his RV. The Metro Council has also created a broader special review committee.

Tony Gonzalez, a reporter in Nashville since July 2011, covers city news, features inspiring people, and seeks out offbeat stories. He’s also an award-winning juggler and hot chicken advocate who lives in East Nashville with his wife, a professional bookbinder. During his time at The Tennessean newspaper, his investigative reporting and feature stories were honored in the state and nationally. Gonzalez grew up near Chicago and came to Nashville after three years reporting and editing at Virginia's smallest daily newspaper, The News Virginian.
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