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Nashville Bomber's Girlfriend Warned Police About Him In 2019

A screen grab of surveillance footage shows the recreational vehicle used in the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, Tenn.
Metro Nashville Police Department
A screen grab of surveillance footage shows the recreational vehicle used in the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville, Tenn.

More than a year before the explosion that rocked Nashville last week, Anthony Warner's girlfriend told police that he "was building bombs in the RV trailer at his residence," according to a police report filed in August 2019.

Yet the report indicates Nashville police never made contact with Warner. Despite having the report in their database, police did not share it with the public until Tuesday evening — four days after Warner drove his RV to downtown Nashville, Tenn., and detonated a bomb out of the vehicle, killing himself and injuring at least seven people.

Whether law enforcement had any warning about the bombing has been an open question since the explosion.

On Sunday, the head of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation told reporters that Warner was not on law enforcement's radar before the bombing, and on the evening of the blast, Nashville Police Chief John Drake said no prior threat had been made against the city.

However, the 2019 police report, first obtained by The Tennessean and NewsChannel 5, shows that officers responded in 2019 to a call at the home of Warner's girlfriend, who told them that he was building bombs. The woman's attorney, Raymond Throckmorton, was also present and told police that Warner "frequently talks about the military and bomb making," according to the report. "[Throckmorton] stated he believes that the suspect knows what he is doing and is capable of making a bomb."

When police knocked on Warner's door, they received no answer, according to the report. They saw an RV in the yard and "several security cameras with wires attached to an alarm sign on the front door."

The police department's bomb squad also called Throckmorton, who also identified himself as Warner's attorney, a police spokesperson said. "The recollection of that call is that Warner did not care for the police, and that Throckmorton would not allow his client to permit a visual inspection of the RV."

Police did not take additional action.

But Throckmorton recalls the follow-up conversation with police differently. He tells NewsChannel 5 he was not representing Warner at the time.

"I certainly would never have told them not to check it out when I'm the one who said, 'Go the hell over there and find out what's going on,' " he told the station.

In an email to member station WPLN, a police spokesperson says the report was sent to the department's bomb squad and the FBI. The FBI checked its databases "and found no records on Warner at all ... The FBI reported that Department of Defense checks on Warner were all negative."

WPLN News has reached out to the FBI for comment.

Copyright 2020 WPLN News

Emily Siner is an enterprise reporter at WPLN. She has worked at the Los Angeles Times and NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and her written work was recently published in Slices Of Life, an anthology of literary feature writing. Born and raised in the Chicago area, she is a graduate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.