NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Metro Police Chief addressed warnings on bombing suspect at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon after a former girlfriend told an attorney about him making bombs in 2019.
On Aug. 21, 2019, Metro Police received a report on Anthony Warner, the Christmas day bomber man. The report stated Warner was building bombs in his RV on his property and "frequently talked about the military and bomb making."
NASHVILLE (WSMV) - According to a police report obtained by News4, Metro Police were given a…
The report came from a lawyer of a woman who lived with him. She had made suicidal threats and was sitting on her front porch with firearms. Police went to see her and found her in possession of pistols that belonged to Warner. She was taken to a medical facility for care.
Officers were sent to Warner's home on Bakertown Road. Police said they tried knocking on the door and calling Warner several times. However, they "never made contact with Warner."
Police said they even contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation about Warner and their agents indicated he was not on any lists. After that, police continued to try and contact Warner as well as surveilling the area.
The home of a 63-year-old man is being searched by federal agents in connection with an explosion in downtown Nashville early Christmas morning, law enforcement officials told NBC News.
Metro Police Chief John Drake said their hands were essentially tied by this situation.
"I don't believe there was a lapse in judgment. Maybe there could've been follow up after, but what are we following up on? Do you have a lady who said this guy is capable of making bombs and he is the officers try and knock on the door they turn it over to hazardous devices who try to ascertain if a bomb is being made they turned over to specialize investigation who contacts the FBI and continually go back to his home, and they knock on his door, and nothing ever comes out of it? Never grants concerned, but we never determined anything that gives us probable cars in a circle and then the narrative is were harassing him," Drake said.
News 4 also wanted to know why it took so long for investigators to release this information to the media and the public. Drake said that he didn’t find out about the 2019 report until Sunday.
"I believe it was Sunday evening when I became aware of a report from August 2019 concerning Anthony Warner. The Matter of Record report in and of itself presented a number of questions to which we needed answers, knowing that we would be discussing it publicly. Research on the August 2019 call and police action began on Sunday and continued through this morning. Yesterday, enough was known that we were able to respond to inquiries we had received," Drake said.
Drake added the fact that all of their phone lines have been down, contributed to the delay
During a press conference on Monday, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, FBI, and Metro Police were all there.
"He was not on our radar," Director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation David Rausch said. "We're all taking pieces of the puzzle, working to determine what the motivation was."
The chief said he did call Mayor John Cooper to give him a heads up about the report.
Federal investigators are piecing together the life of Anthony Warner, 63, to find clues int…
After the initial report was made and officers visited the home, Drake said an officer drove by Warner's home on Bakertown Road "for several days looking to see if his vehicle, other than the motor home was there."
"Each time, Officer Pollard would have another officer on stand-by so that they could attempt to speak to Warner. Officer Pollard did not see Warner’s minivan on any of those occasions. Officer Pollard also attempted to make contact with Warner through his land-line telephone number, to no avail," Drake said.
Police learned that Warner was "known to go on camping trips for weeks at a time" and even asked if they could look inside the RV. The attorney told police that "Warner did not care for the police" and he was not going to let officers investigate the property.
The lawyer told police that he believed Warner was capable of making a bomb, "but didn’t believe he was doing so."
"Also during late August, our Specialized Investigations Division looked for any open source information on Warner. They found none. At no time was there any evidence or reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed, and our officers had no legal basis to go into Warner’s fenced-in yard or home during August 2019," Drake said.
Drake said no other actions were taken against Warner after late August and "to the best of my knowledge," no reports about him were sent to police.
"We had no legal basis for search warrants or subpoenas based on what we knew at the time," Drake said.