Police in Nashville are investigating whether a “person of interest” in the Christmas Day bombing was paranoid about 5G technology, according to a man who spoke to officers about the attack.
A recreational vehicle (RV) was blown up before dawn outside an AT&T shop, and the force of the explosion was so strong it took out power lines and caused the city’s airport to halt flights, as communications were down.
Nashville police quickly said it appeared to be “an intentional act”. A warning was blared from the motorhome shortly before the explosion, which allowed police to evacuate the area – likely saving many lives. Three people were injured in the blast, which devastated shops and homes in a historic district of the Tennessee city.
Now FBI agents are asking whether Anthony Quinn Warner — a 63-year-old local computer expert reportedly named as a “person of interest” — was paranoid about 5G technology and believed conspiracy theories that it was being used to spy on people.
Mr Warner’s home in Antioch, Tennessee, was searched by police on Sunday, News 4 Nashville reported.
Steve Fridrich, an estate agent, contacted police after seeing Mr Warner’s name on the local news.
He realised that he had hired a “Tony Warner” to do IT work for him for the past several years, with his last job being carried out as recently as this month.
When the FBI agent arrived to speak to him, Mr Fridrich told NBC, he was asked if Mr Warner was paranoid about 5G technology. Mr Fridrich said he told the agents that Mr Warner never mentioned being afraid of 5G.
“Nice guy,” said Mr Fridrich.
“You know, he was a techie guy — don’t mean anything negative about that.
“He would do this thing and leave. He didn’t bother anybody. He did his thing and left.”
Mr Fridrich said Mr Warner helped him with an internet issue earlier this month and mentioned how he enjoyed camping.
Mr Warner owned a white motorhome similar to the one that blew up on Christmas Day.
He has not been seen since the explosion, and police are taking DNA from his mother, Newsweek reported, to see whether the human remains found near the bombing match his DNA.
There have been no arrests or motive revealed in the bombing.
Police are also reportedly looking into Mr Warner’s connection to a 29-year-old Los Angeles woman named Michelle Swing.
He signed the deed to his $160,000 suburban Nashville home over to Ms Swing for free last month, according to county property records found by The New York Post.
Ms Swing told the paper that she could not comment on the investigation, but she told The Daily Mail the transfer happened “without my knowledge”.
A second property, on the same street and worth $249,000, was also transferred to her, again without any money changing hands, the Mail reported.