NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — She tried to stop it. Pam Perry warned Metro Police about the Christmas Day bomber more than a year before the bombing downtown.
After her tip in August of 2019, police went to Anthony Warner's house and saw the RV but never talked to Warner. The Metro Police Department said officers did all they could, but on Christmas morning Pam Perry's worst fear came true.
"In my gut I knew it was him," Perry said.
She immediately recognized Warner's RV when she turned on her TV that day.
"They showed that RV and I immediately went into panic mode," Perry said.
But it was more than just seeing the RV that police said was responsible for the blast.
"I heard the music of that song. And I remember hearing that on a CD he played for me," Perry said.
Warner played the song Downtown on a loudspeaker before detonating the bomb. Perry remembered asking him about it.
"I'm like, 'What does that song even mean? And why are you listening to that?' And he was just like, 'I like the song.'"
She realized the man she had warned police about a year and half earlier had actually done the unthinkable.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked "You feel like this should have been prevented?"
Perry responded, "I do. I tried. I did the best I could, the only way I knew how."
Perry said she first met Anthony Warner as a teenager when he dated her sister. But after her sister died unexpectedly in 2017, Warner started coming over to Perry's house.
"He was a lonely person. I was going through a hard time, so he would sit there and start rambling," Perry said.
She said they were not in a romantic, dating relationship, and she found his constant talk of conspiracy theories bizarre.
"He was always talking about his alien conspiracies, his 9-11 conspiracies," Perry said.
But his talk went from bizarre to scary. She said he discussed building bombs using common materials he was buying in bulk.
"He was telling me he knew when he was going to die, that he was stocking up bomb material. He was cooking this stuff," Perry said.
NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked, "What motivated him? Why did he do this?"
Perry responded, "I have no idea. All I know is he hated the government. He said the government was going to have something to talk about. He would be remembered."
Perry said she suspected he was building the bomb in his RV, which sat inside a fence on his property.
"I went to the door and I actually tried to open the door once, and he told me 'stay away from it, you can't go in there,'" Perry said.
Not long after that, she said he threatened her.
"He got up in my face and said 'if it gets out what I am doing, I'm going to know it came from you, and you're going to be sorry," Perry said.
Finally, in August of 2019, she couldn't take it anymore. She frantically called her attorney and begged him to get police over to her house - to turn in Warner. Her attorney recorded the call from that day.
"I won't have hundreds probably thousands of lives on my soul and I will shoot him in the leg if I have to," Perry said on the call to her attorney in August of 2019.
"I felt like if I didn't say something I am part of this because he has made me aware of what he is doing," Perry said.
Her attorney called 9-1-1 and said Perry was suicidal.
Both the attorney and Perry told police Anthony Warner was dangerous and believed he was capable of building a bomb. They both asked police to go to his home.
"All they had on their minds was I was suicidal," Perry said.
"Then they said they were sending somebody over there, but I needed to get in the ambulance. And I said I need to know you've got him," Perry said.
Several officers left Perry's house that August day and went to Warner's nearby home on 115 Bakertown Road.
According to the police report "police observed that there was an RV trailer in the back yard, but the yard was fenced off and police could not see in inside the RV. Police also observed that the location had several security cameras and wires attached to an alarm sign on the front door."
Police knocked several times but when no one answered they left. Police said they made other attempts to contact Warner who they learned had no criminal record.
They said they did not have the right to search his property. They never spoke with Warner or obtained a search warrant.
On Christmas morning as law enforcement asked for tips for information about the bombing, Perry had to decide whether to turn in Warner a second time.
She did not know Warner had killed himself in the blast at that time.
"I was afraid to call the police department, they didn't help me last time. So I called the FBI tip line and I spoke with them for over an hour, Perry said.
Tomorrow night we'll hear more from Perry and why she has not received any of the reward money raised to help solve the crime.