Local and federal law enforcement agents were told more than a year ago that the tech worker who detonated a bomb in downtown Nashville, Tenn., on Friday morning was making explosives in his recreational vehicle, but they said they were unable to investigate further after he did not respond to knocks on his door, according to police documents.

Nashville police visited Anthony Warner’s home on Aug. 21, 2019, after a woman who identified herself as his girlfriend told officers that he “was building bombs in the RV trailer at his residence,” according to an incident report and synopsis from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department. The visit was first reported by The Tennessean.

An attorney for the couple, Raymond Throckmorton, also told police at the time that Warner “frequently talks about the military and bombmaking” and was “capable of making a bomb,” the report says. The responding officers notified their superiors and the FBI, according to the synopsis, but a background check on Warner did not show suspicious information.


This undated file image posted on social media by the FBI shows Anthony Quinn Warner. Courtesy of FBI via AP, File

An FBI spokesman said the agency had found “no records at all” after it received a request from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on Aug. 22, 2019, to investigate Warner. The FBI also processed a Department of Defense inquiry, “which was also negative,” the spokesman said.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch told reporters this week that Warner “was not on our radar” before the Christmas morning bombing.

The blast damaged 41 businesses, sent three people to the hospital with minor injuries and knocked out communication networks in the region. Warner was killed in the explosion.

Investigators are working to identify what motivated the 63-year-old recluse to pack his RV with explosives and broadcast a warning telling residents to leave before detonating the explosives outside an AT&T transmission hub in the city’s busy entertainment quarter. They are investigating whether he had a fascination with 5G conspiracy theories.

The incident report sheds little new light on Warner’s mind-set but indicates that he may have been planning the explosion for 16 months or more.

According to the law enforcement documents, police visited the girlfriend’s home on the morning of Aug. 21, 2019 after Throckmorton told officers that she made suicidal threats to him on the telephone.

When officers arrived, they found Perry with two unloaded pistols sitting next to her. She told them that the weapons belonged to “Tony Warner” and that she did not want them in the house any longer, according to police.

In the same conversation, Perry told them that Warner was making bombs in his RV, the report states. Throckmorton appeared to back her up, telling officers that Warner “knows what he is doing and is capable of making a bomb,” according to the report. After the interview, an ambulance picked up Perry for voluntary psychological evaluation, the report states.

The same day, police went to Warner’s home, about 1 1/2 miles from Perry’s. They said that they noticed the RV parked in the backyard but that they could not see inside because it was blocked by a fence. Officers also reported seeing several security cameras and an alarm sign on the property. The officers reported that they knocked on Warner’s door multiple times, but he did not respond.

“They saw no evidence of a crime and had no authority to enter his home or fenced property,” police said in the synopsis.

Officers told supervisors about the incident and sent a report to the hazardous devices unit for follow-up, according to police.

On Aug. 22, police sent a message to the FBI, which soon reported back that agents had found “no records on Warner at all,” police said. Subsequent reports from the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives turned up nothing suspicious, according to police.

At about the same time, the hazardous devices unit contacted Throckmorton, according to the synopsis.

“The recollection of that call is that Warner did not care for the police,” police said in the synopsis. “At no time was there any evidence of a crime detected and no additional action was taken.”

Calls to residential numbers listed for Throckmorton and the woman who reported Warner went to disconnected lines Wednesday morning; no one responded to texts to cell numbers.

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