Tennessee Republicans Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Senator-elect Bill Hagerty, and Gov. Bill Lee responded to the explosion that rocked Nashville on Christmas Day, saying it was “intentional” and “cowardly.”
They also said they were “praying” for those who were impacted by the incident, including the three injured people.
Lee wrote on Twitter:
Early this morning, an explosion occurred in downtown Nashville around Second Avenue and Commerce Street. Federal, state and local law enforcement partners are on the scene to investigate what we believe was an intentional act.
We will supply all of the resources needed to determine what happened and who was responsible. Please join [the governor’s wife Maria Lee] and me in praying for those who were injured and we thank all of our first responders who acted so quickly this morning.
We will supply all of the resources needed to determine what happened and who was responsible. Please join @MariaLeeTN and me in praying for those who were injured and we thank all of our first responders who acted so quickly this morning.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) December 25, 2020
Both Blackburn and Hagerty said they were praying for those impacted by the explosion.
“I am closely monitoring the situation in downtown Nashville and praying for all those involved,” Blackburn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote on her official Twitter account. “Thank you to our brave first responders for keeping us safe.”
I am closely monitoring the situation in downtown Nashville and praying for all those involved. Thank you to our brave first responders for keeping us safe.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) December 25, 2020
In her personal Twitter account, Blackburn urged her followers to pray for the injured, the authorities investigating the case, and first responders.
This Christmas morning, please join our family in praying for those who were hurt and for our law enforcement officers and first responders. https://t.co/USdMUif9kz
— Marsha Blackburn (@VoteMarsha) December 25, 2020
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this cowardly act, and with our first responders on the scene,” the Senator-elect added.
Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by this cowardly act, and with our first responders on the scene. https://t.co/OSAgVfJczz
— Bill Hagerty (@BillHagertyTN) December 25, 2020
An explosives-laden RV detonated downtown as police were responding to reports of shots fired before 6 a.m., according to local authorities. The FBI is leading the investigation now, which damaged 20 buildings and injured three people, although none were in critical condition.
Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) are also reportedly on the scene. The FBI and ATF are components of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
According to the White House, officials have briefed President Donald Trump on the incident.
— TA (@TA32556798) December 25, 2020
BREAKING: This is the RV that exploded on 2nd Ave N this morning. It arrived on 2nd Ave at 1:22 a.m. Have you seen this vehicle in our area or do you have information about it? Please contact us via Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463 or online via https://t.co/dVGS7o0m4v. @ATFHQ pic.twitter.com/JNx9sDinAH
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 25, 2020
Oh my god! This video from downtown #Nashville of the explosion!!!
This is from Buck McCoy on Facebook! pic.twitter.com/xA1J8AgyGc
— Ryan Graney👩🏻 (@RyanEGraney) December 25, 2020
— Tony Husband (@TonyHusband) December 25, 2020
— Jeremy Schott (@thejeremyschott) December 25, 2020
Some witnesses said they heard repeated warnings coming from the RV, saying, “Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode.”
A 15-minute countdown reportedly followed the warning.