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What we know about a Christmas Day explosion in Nashville

A recreational vehicle parked in downtown Nashville exploded early Christmas morning, injuring three and causing widespread outages, including for the police emergency system. Police believe the explosion was intentional. As authorities continue to investigate, Kimberlee Kruesi of the Associated Press talks with Amna Nawaz about the latest from police and where the case goes from here.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    Well, Federal authorities are investigating a Christmas morning explosion that rocked downtown Nashville and appeared to be intentional.

    The early morning blast left fires and a smoky scene above the city. At least 20 buildings in the area were damaged, and three people were injured. Police said they were responding to a call of shots fired when they saw an R.V. parked in front of an AT&T transmission building. The R.V. was playing a recording warning people to evacuate in the next 15 minutes before a bomb exploded.

    Kimberlee Kruesi was on the scene for the AP, and she joins me now.

    Kimberlee, welcome to the "NewsHour." And thanks for being with us.

    We know the authorities in Nashville briefed everyone earlier today to update them. We expect another update later tonight. But what is the latest? What do we know about what happened?

  • Kimberlee Kruesi:

    Probably, the latest — I mean, we still don't know a lot.

    But we have sources now that have said — that can confirm human remains have been found at the site of near where the explosion take place. Unfortunately, we don't know much more about if this is a victim or if this is connected to the explosion.

    But, right now, authorities are investigating and sent those remains off to the coroner's office to be investigated further.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Kimberlee, the eyewitnesses have described the scene like something you would see in a horror movie.

    We know the Nashville mayor said it looked like a bomb went off. The area has now been cordoned off. They're telling people to stay away. You were down there. Tell us about this area and what it looks like now.

  • Kimberlee Kruesi:

    It was an extremely somber event walking downtown on Christmas Day in Nashville, in a city that's already been heavily hit this year.

    And most people — it was mostly abandoned, thankfully. But the people who were out there who just were walk — like, they were walking around in shock, a lot of people worried whether or not they should travel. They had been — they were staying in hotels downtown. They didn't know if they could get back into downtown Nashville if they left, so a lot of — some confusion, and a lot of just uncertainty.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Kimberlee, we know dozens of residents there have been evacuated.

    As you mentioned, there weren't many people there. Lucky it happened on a holiday. There were no deaths so far. But for all of this to happen on Christmas morning at the end of this particular year, what is the feeling on the ground right now?

  • Kimberlee Kruesi:

    The Nashville mayor, John Cooper, he has called for 2020 probably the hardest-hit year for this city.

    And he's marking not just the pandemic, but we had a fatal tornado come through here in March. And now, for this to come at the end, he was just remarking of yet again a hard year. But there's a reason why they call it Nashville strong, a lot of people coming together.

    The first people who were reaching out to me were people trying to figure out how to help. And so, while it's a dark day, some people were still trying to find a little bit of hope and trying to help people out.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    We will be following the story for updates. I'm sure.

    That is Kimberlee Kruesi of the Associated Press joining us from Nashville tonight.

    Thanks to you.

  • Kimberlee Kruesi:

    Thank you.

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