By KIMBERLEE KRUESI, MICHAEL BALSAMO and ERIC TUCKER Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Federal officials now turn to exploring the monumental task of piecing together the motive behind the Christmas Day explosion that severely damaged dozens of downtown Nashville buildings and injured three.

Officials have named 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner as the man behind the mysterious explosion in which he was killed, but the motive has remained elusive.

In just a few days, hundreds of tips and leads have been submitted. Yet thus far, officials have not provided information on what possibly drove Warner to set off the explosion. Police say they believe no one else was involved.

Police were responding to a report of shots fired Friday when they encountered the RV blaring a recorded warning that a bomb would detonate in 15 minutes. Suddenly the warning stopped, and "Downtown" started playing.

The RV exploded shortly afterward, sending black smoke and flames billowing from the heart of downtown Nashville's tourist scene, an area packed with honky-tonks, restaurants and shops.

These six Nashville police officers went door to door in the area evacuating residents shortly before the explosion: (Clockwise from top left) Officer Amanda Topping, Officer Brenna Hosey, Officer James Wells, Officer Michael Sipos, Officer Tyler Luellen and Sgt. Timothy Miller.

Credit: Nashville Metro Police Department

Nashville Mayor John Cooper praised the six responding officers, saying they "took swift action and directed people away from danger to save lives, even at the time that their own lives were imperiled."

"They are heroes. And I am grateful for them and all of Nashville's first responders," Cooper said.

"This is going to tie us together forever, for the rest of my life," Metro Nashville police Officer James Wells, who suffered some hearing loss due to the explosion, told reporters at a news conference. "Christmas will never be the same."

 

Along with not uncovering a motive, investigators also don't know why Warner selected the particular location for the bombing, which damaged an AT&T building and caused widespread cellphone and communications outages in several Southern states.

The director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation told reporters on Sunday that Warner had not been on the radar before Christmas.

MORE: Nashville Rocked By 'Intentional' Explosion On Christmas Day