Explosion in Nashville that damaged dozens of buildings is believed to be an intentional act

Police and fire respond to an explosion Christmas morning in Nashville.

(CNN) -- A woman who said she was the girlfriend of the man who set off the Christmas Day explosion in Nashville told police last year he was making bombs in his recreational vehicle, according to a statement and documents the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department provided to CNN.

On August 21, 2019, police received a call from an attorney representing Pamela Perry, the woman who said she was the girlfriend of the bomber Anthony Warner, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said in a statement Tuesday. Her attorney, Raymond Throckmorton, said she had made "suicidal threats to him via telephone."

When police arrived, they found two unloaded pistols near Perry, who said they belonged to Warner. She told officers she did not want them in the home any longer and that Warner was "building bombs in the RV trailer at his residence," according to a "matter of record" report from the MNPD.

The police also spoke to Throckmorton, who once represented Warner and was also present at Perry's home. He told authorities Warner "frequently talks about the military and bomb-making. (Throckmorton) stated that he believes that the suspect knows what he is doing and is capable of making a bomb," the report said.

CNN has reached out to Throckmorton for comment about his account -- first reported by the Tennessean -- but has not yet heard back.

In the course of their several attempts to enter the home, Warner would not open the door for police, a statement from the department said, and as there was no evidence of a crime, they had no authority to enter.

MNPD asked the FBI to check its databases for records of Warner and none were found, the FBI confirmed in a statement to CNN.

On Monday, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director David Rausch said Warner, 63, had not previously been on law enforcement's radar.

Days left of sifting through the crime scene

The explosion Friday outside an AT&T transmission building in Nashville damaged more than 40 buildings and injured at least eight people.

Investigators positively identified Warner by comparing DNA from the scene to that on gloves and a hat from a vehicle he owned, Rausch said. The motive for the explosion is still unknown.

The blast left the historic Nashville street in disarray, and federal investigators expect it will take until Friday to sift through the rubble and collect all of the evidence from the crime scene, officials said Tuesday.

At the time, national response teams from the FBI and ATF had finished going through half of the crime scene and opened it up to city workers for cleanup and safety assessment, according to FBI spokesman Jason Pack.

And though authorities have a lot of work ahead of them in determining what motivated the destruction, the area began to be opened up to nearly two dozen business owners and residents on the outskirts of the impact site.

They were escorted by officials into buildings deemed structurally safe to retrieve their important items -- in some cases their pets.

For many of the small business owners impacted by the bombing, the damage just adds to the hardship created by the coronavirus pandemic.

"This year's been tough," Pete Gibson, the owner of Pride & Glory Tattoo on 2nd Avenue, told CNN. "But right when we get a little light at the end of the tunnel, it all goes away in two seconds."

CNN's Raja Razek, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, Mark Morales, Jamiel Lynch, Hollie SIlverman, Eric Levenson, Amir Vera, Kay Jones and Natasha Chen contributed to this report.

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