Three people were injured from an explosion in downtown Nashville that came in the early hours of Christmas morning, police said.
According to the Associated Press, each person taken to a nearby hospital remains in stable condition as of Friday evening from the blast that police believe was intentional. They do not yet know the motive.
“To this point, we do believe that the explosion was an intentional act,” a police spokesman told reporters, according to BBC News.
“This morning’s attack on our community was intended to create chaos and fear in this season of peace and hope,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said in a news conference following the announcement of a curfew. “But Nashvillians have proven time and time again that the spirit of our city cannot be broken.”
Police said warnings preceded the blast from an RV, declaring a bomb would go off in 15 minutes. This provoked evacuations from nearby buildings and the deployment of a bomb squad. The explosion occurred about 6:30 a.m. near the headquarters for Lyft and a major AT&T data center, leading to service outages.
Nashville Metro Police Chief John Drake told reporters, according to CBS, that authorities are investigating whether the Christmas detonation was linked to the ride-sharing company or AT&T.
BREAKING: This is the RV that exploded on 2nd Ave N this morning. It arrived on 2nd Ave at 1:22 a.m. Have you seen this vehicle in our area or do you have information about it? Please contact us via Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463 or online via https://t.co/dVGS7o0m4v. @ATFHQ pic.twitter.com/JNx9sDinAH
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 25, 2020
The major telecommunications company said the building hit by the blast was its central office of a telephone exchange. AT&T acknowledged the explosion had disrupted service but did not say how widespread, the Associated Press reported.
The incident prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily halt air traffic leaving Nashville International Airport, due to the outages caused by the bomb.