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Nashville police release dramatic body cam footage from Christmas Day bombing

Updated: Dec. 28, 2020 at 9:42 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - We’re getting our first look at the body cam video from Metro Nashville Police Department officers on the scene of the Christmas Day bombing. The video shows the officers calmly asking people to leave the area just minutes before an RV filled with explosives blew up.

Eight people were injured in the blast. And 41 buildings were damaged.

Metro Nashville Police Officer Michael Sipos was just issued his body camera a few days ago. Dramatic video from that camera, released three days after the bombing, shows him and other officers clearing the area with no time to spare.

“So, you’re not doing anything wrong, OK?” a female officer said to a man sitting on stairs near Dick’s Last Resort. “You’re not in trouble. But there is something serious happening.”

The time was 6:25 a.m. on Christmas morning. Nashville police worked quickly to clear 2nd Avenue North downtown, the stretch that houses the entertainment district. Officers can be seen walking past B.B.King’s Club as they evacuated buildings. As they moved down the sidewalk, holiday music from a store mixed with the eerie recording coming from a white RV parked on the street.

“Evacuate now. Stay clear of vehicle. Stay clear of vehicle,” the recording blared into the crisp morning air.

“That’s so weird. That’s like some s**t out of a movie,” Officer Sipos said to a fellow officer. ”Like ‘The Purge’?” she replied.“Yeah,” he said.

The officers initially responded to a call of shots fired in the area. When they arrived, they quickly realized something strange was going on. They called in the bomb squad and started pulling back, now well aware of exactly where the mysterious RV was parked, right next to a critical AT&T facility.

“I found out the building that it’s next to is the building that houses all the hard lines for phones throughout the Southeast,” one officer said as he approached Sipos and the other MNPD officer.

“Makes sense,” another officer replied. “Good spot for the bomb.”

His body cam video showed Sipos turned the corner, walking away from the RV. In fact, you can see Nissan stadium in the distance as he continued putting distance between himself and the RV.

Sipos popped his trunk to get more gear when suddenly, the bomb went off.

The explosion sent debris flying blocks away. The officer’s body cam captured the sound of falling glass raining from the sky.

It also captured a desperate plea on the officers’ radios for them to go through a roll call to make sure all were accounted for after the blast.

All six officers survived. They made sure civilians weren’t harmed.

“Are you guys OK?” Sipos asked a couple appearing from 2nd Avenue. The man was carrying the woman down the street.

“Yes,” the man replied, looking dazed.

“Where’s your car?” Sipos asked them.

“What’s going on?” they asked him.

“Go to your car,” the officer replied.

Seconds later, a scare. The sound of mini-explosions. Were there more explosives? Ammunition in the blast site going off?

You can hear an officer shout “Get outta there!” as the sound of sirens grew louder. Fire trucks pulled up on the scene, while Sipos continued to turn people back.

No lives were lost in the explosion, truly a Christmas miracle, said neighbors.

“We had two angels show up on Christmas morning on our doorstep, and they happened to be dressed in police uniforms,” said Jeffrey Rassmussen.

Federal authorities identified the suspect as 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner of Nashville. They believe he was killed in the explosion. Neighbors described him as a loner. He reportedly told one neighbor Nashville would never forget his name after the holiday.

The TBI confirmed on Monday, December 28 that Warner’s father used to work for AT&T. But there is still no motive for the explosion.

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