On Christmas morning, a bomber set off an explosion that rocked downtown Nashville, impacting 40 buildings and sending three people to the hospital. According to police, the explosion came from a parked RV that broadcasted a warning to evacuate the area through a speaker system moments before detonation.
The blast took place outside an AT&T switching station, heavily damaging the facility and knocking out phone as well as internet service over a wide area.
The FBI later identified Anthony Quinn Warner, a 63-year-old Nashville resident and computer contract worker, as a person of interest in connection to the explosion. On Sunday afternoon, authorities confirmed that Warner was "present when the bomb went off" and "perished in the bombing" based on DNA tissue recovered from the blast site.
FBI Investigating Ties to 5G Conspiracy Theory
According to Newsweek, the FBI are investigating whether Warner was paranoid about 5G conspiracy theories. The report claims Steve Fridrich, a real estate agent based in Nashville, contacted the FBI to give them a tip about a former colleague named Tony Warner and was asked by agents whether the man he worked with believed in 5G technology and conspiracy theories linked to it.
A source close to the investigation also revealed that Warner was 'heavily into conspiracy theories." Electronic devices seized from his former home in a Nashville suburb have also been sent to a forensics lab for examination.
"We are waiting on the digital footprint that should finally provide us with some answers,' another source revealed. "The unofficial motive thus far is the suspect believed 5G was the root of all deaths in the region and he'd be hailed a hero."
The unfounded 5G conspiracy theories started cropping up earlier this year with some claiming it was a tool to spy on Americans while others believed the technology was aiding the spread of coronavirus. The wild conspiracy theory even led many to set cell phone towers ablaze in the U.K. and Canada, as previously reported.
Warner's Father Worked for AT&T Before His Death in 2011
Agents are also investigating whether the bombing had something to do with Warner's paranoia over cell phone towers following the death of his father. Charles B. Warner.
According to Charles' obituary, he died of dementia in July 2011, at the age of 78 and was survived by his sons, Steve and Tony Warner. Records show that he worked for BellSouth, a telecommunications company that merged into AT&T in 2006.
"The fact that the father worked in the same company is definitely a lead investigators would pursue," a senior law enforcement official told Newsweek.
"They're definitely pulling the dad's employment record to see if there is any nexus between this bombing and his employment," the source added. "In an investigation of this magnitude it would be logical to see if there is a nexus between adverse employment action of the father, and the location of where the bombing took place."
Although there was no 5G technology at the time of Charles' death, there was paranoia surrounding cellphone towers following the claim that the radiation emanating from these towers was giving people terminal illnesses including cancer and dementia. This has led conspiracy theorists to push the claim that Warner may have blamed his father's employer for his death and may have targeted the AT&T facility in an act of revenge.