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Council member wants public review of Christmas bombing investigation

nashville bombing - 2nd avenue
Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 21:56:44-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Police Department submitted answers to several questions from Metro Council Members about the Christmas Day bombing.

Councilman-At-Large Bob Mendes told NewsChannel 5 Investigates some of the answers naturally lead to more questions.

He is calling for a public review that would examine all aspects of Metro's response to the bombing, including the police department investigation into the suspected bomber more than a year before the blast.

"I want to know whether more should have been done," Mendes said.

Among his concerns, the police report from more than a year before the bombing in which the suspect's girlfriend told police Anthony Warner "was building bombs in the RV trailer of his residence."

Police went to Warner's house, saw the RV, but never talked to him.

"Police laid eyeballs on the RV that blew up Second Avenue. They laid eyeballs on it. There's fair questions we should ask about that," Mendes said.

A newly obtained Metro police department e-mail written the day after police went to Warner's home - dated August 22 of 2019, reveals officer Michael Pollard with bomb squad told Sergeant Jon Boese with the Specialized Investigations Division, "There was a matter of record report taken yesterday about a man that is supposed to be making explosives. The report says you all were contacted. Do you know if any of your guys are looking into this? Guys name is Anthony Warner."

Police wrote to Mendes --"It is procedure for SID to, based on the information relayed to conduct an open source check of Warner, which would have come back negative due to his still apparent lack of an online presence. Boese feels confident the open source check was done, but he did not retain any confirming material."

"I think it's a fair question if the complaining woman had been a different profile, whether it would have different response, and if Mr. Warner had been a different profile whether there would have been a different response," Mendes said.

Police wrote to Mendes the "last work on the case was in August 2019, but the matter remained "open."

"Clearly after about a week nothing more was done. Is that the right answer? I don't think everybody's going to be comfortable with that being the right answer," Mendes said.

Mendes wants a public review of all aspects of the bombing including the fact that so many people were without phone service after the blast.

"I think there needs to be some unifying commission, committee, group, office, I don't know who, but there needs to be some unifying look at everything," Mendes said.

Mendes also has questions about the review panel that was just announced by Metro police to look into the matter.

"I started asking the Mayor yesterday about the possibility of a public commission to look at all aspects surrounding the bombing and then this comes up a day later," Mendes said.

Mendes said it is important for the review panel to meet in public.

He plans to introduce a bill at the next council meeting to establish a panel that will collect feedback from all Metro Departments.

Metro police also answered a question about how the bomb was made.

"The FBI flew more than 3 tons of debris and soil to its crime laboratory in Virginia. It is anticipated that analysis from the FBI lab will provide answers as to the materials used to generate the explosion."