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Photo: Elliott Anderson/The Tennessean via Reuters

Police say a spooky audio recording boomed from an RV parked in downtown Nashville early Christmas morning, just before the vehicle blew up and turned a historic stretch of the bar-lined tourist district into a glass-strewn shambles.

  • Officers, responding to a 5:30 a.m. CT call for shots fired, encountered the RV as the recording played, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said at a televised briefing.

The officers began evacuating nearby buildings.

  • "Shortly after that, the RV exploded," Drake said.
  • AP reports that authorities have found human remains near the site of the explosion, citing two law enforcement officials. An officer was knocked to the ground.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The Tennessean reports that witnesses heard a voice from the RV: "Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode." 

  • "Then, the voice started a 15-minute countdown."

Mayor John Cooper described insulation "blown up" into trees, and he estimated about 20 buildings were hit.

  • Authorities said the blast appeared intentional. The FBI took the lead.

Black smoke billowed from the area, which is packed with bars and restaurants, AP reported.

  • Buildings shook after a loud boom was heard.
  • A 33-story AT&T building, the tallest building in Tennessee, was hit. Some service in the region was interrupted, the company tweeted.

This story has been updated with AP's report about the discovery of human remains near the site.

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Go deeper

Updated Dec 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Authorities name Anthony Warner as Nashville bomber, say he died in blast

Law enforcement officers investigate the house of Anthony Quinn Warner. Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Authorities said on Sunday that they believe Anthony Quinn Warner was responsible for the Christmas Day explosion that rocked downtown Nashville, Tennessee, and that the 63-year-old died in the blast.

What's new: Four days before the explosion, Warner told a neighbor that “Nashville and the world is never going to forget me," per AP. The neighbor told the news agency that nothing about Warner raised any red flags. “He was just quiet," the neighbor said.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.