Authorities 'Not Naming Anyone' Yet in Nashville Explosion, Describe Incident as 'Bombing'

Law enforcement authorities in Nashville announced Saturday afternoon that they are currently investigating over 500 tips regarding the Christmas Day blast.

Officials representing both federal and local agencies held a press conference in the downtown part of the city, in which U.S. Attorney Don Cochran condemned the "cowardly bombing on Christmas morning."

Cochran said the ATF, FBI and local law enforcement are working on the case and they've had more than 500 leads and tips that are all being actively investigated.

The Associated Press reported that federal authorities were investigating the home of a person of interest in Antioch, according to law enforcement officials. An FBI representative said, according to The Tennessean, that agents have been at the residence for 'court authorized activity' related to the case.

Cochran, one of several law enforcement authorities who spoke at 2nd Avenue South and Korean Veterans Boulevard Saturday afternoon, said it is unclear if there is just one or several suspects involved in the blast.

Each of the officials confirmed they believe the explosion was intentional but they're "not naming anyone" yet. They did acknowledge that the AT&T building was central to the explosion but declined to say whether that was the primary target as previous reports had indicated.

At least 250 FBI agents, analysts and staff are working the case that led to three injured people, the Associated Press reported Saturday afternoon.

Nashville Chief of Police John Drake declared that the city is "safe" as of Saturday afternoon, but patience is needed for tenants of the 40 or so buildings affected by Friday blast. The city's mayor, John Cooper, has enforced a curfew in the downtown area until Sunday through an executive order intended to limit public access to the crime scene.

Despite having 500 investigative leads, all officials declined to identify any single individual who is currently a person of interest.

FBI special agent in charge Douglas Korneski said "we have no indication of additional explosive threats."

AT&T officials told the Associated Press that an overnight fire complicated restoration efforts to service in the region and caused the "evacuation of the building." The Tennessee governor's office said at least 41 buildings in the city center have been damaged in some way.

"Our teams continue to work around the clock on recovery efforts from yesterday morning's explosion in Nashville," AT&T said in a Saturday statement to the AP. "We have two portable cell sites operating in downtown Nashville with numerous additional portable sites being deployed in the Nashville area and in the region."

A person of interested tied to the make and model of the RV used in the blast was named by CBS News earlier in the day, but law enforcement has not independently confirmed this information to Newsweek Saturday afternoon.

Updated 5:26 PM ET, with additional information that federal authorities have been at the home of a person of interest.

nashville explosion suspect custody seeking
FBI and first responders work on the scene after an explosion on December 25, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. According to initial reports, a vehicle exploded downtown in the early morning hours. THADDAEUS McAdams / Contributor/Getty Images