Nashville Bombing Suspect Anthony Warner Was Arrested for Marijuana Possession in 1978

Nashville bombing suspect Anthony Quinn Warner was arrested in 1978 for marijuana possession, according to his adult arrest record released Monday by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The arrest on January 29, 1978, is the only incident listed on Warner's arrest record and occurred shortly after his 21st birthday. The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) was the agency that performed Warner's arrest, according to the record.

On Sunday, the FBI identified Warner as the suspected bomber after completing forensic tests of human remains found at the scene of the bombing, which occurred in downtown Nashville at about 6:30 a.m. local time on December 25. In a Sunday news release, Special Agent in Charge Doug Korneski with the FBI's Memphis Field Office said agents had not yet identified a motive for the bombing but were continuing to investigate.

Anthony Quinn Warner marijuana possession
Police close off an area damaged by Christmas morning explosion in Nashville, Tennessee. Terry Wyatt/Getty

The MNPD said last week it was assisting the FBI with its investigation, as was the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

In a video of the incident the MNPD shared on Twitter, a fiery explosion bursts near the intersection of 2nd Avenue North and Commerce Street. Law enforcement later said they arrived in the area prior to the blast to investigate reports of gunfire along 2nd Avenue, at which time the MNPD's Hazardous Devices Unit was also called into action to assess an RV parked along the street.

This is video of Friday morning's explosion recorded by an MNPD camera at 2nd Ave N & Commerce St.

— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 28, 2020

The RV is what eventually exploded outside an AT&T store, which Nashville's mayor, John Cooper, suggested may have had "some connection" to the bomber's still undetermined motive due to the impact it had on phone service in the area.

The FBI said a "key break" in identifying Warner came when Tennessee Highway Patrol officers found a vehicle identification number for the RV, which agents said arrived in the downtown area about five hours before the explosion. From there, the MNPD and the FBI shared images of the RV on social media and requested individuals with information about the vehicle contact the authorities. Agents identified Warner as a suspect and confirmed on Sunday that his DNA was present at the bombing site.

Agents said during a Sunday news conference there was no evidence to suggest any other individuals were involved in the bombing.

A law enforcement official with knowledge about the ongoing investigation told Newsweek on Sunday that agents were not keeping track of Warner's activities before identifying him as a suspect in the bombing and suggested Warner may have been "an extremely sad guy who wanted to die in an elaborate fashion on Christmas Day."

FBI Special Agent Jason Pack told Newsweek on Monday agents are still requesting that individuals who knew Warner share any information they may have about Warner or the bombing.

"Our joint investigative teams are actively working to identify associates of the suspect," Pack said. "It will be some time before all of that information is gathered and analyzed to begin to try to determine a motive."

This story has been updated with additional information, background and a response from FBI Special Agent Jason Pack.