Nashville assessing building damage from Christmas bombing

Tennessee

FILE – In this Dec. 29, 2020 file photo, debris remains on the sidewalk in front of buildings damaged in a Christmas Day explosion in Nashville, Tenn. The Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville led to communications outages over hundreds of miles in the southern U.S., raising concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. networks. Widespread service outages followed the explosion, which damaged a major AT&T network hub, extended hundreds of miles to at least four neighboring states, disrupting 911 call centers, hospitals and flights out of the Nashville airport. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials are continuing to assess building damage caused by the Christmas Day bombing as law enforcement officials on Thursday allowed media outlets the first opportunity to survey the downtown Nashville explosion site.

The photos show blown out windows, debris spilling out of buildings onto sidewalks and a dark crater where the bomb directly went off.

“Our priority is to try to make residents and businesses whole and Metro is working to get business owners and residents back into their properties as quickly as possible and to assist those who’ve lost their jobs,” Mayor John Cooper told reporters earlier that day.

City officials hoped to finish their assessment of the structural damage of the 41 affected buildings by Thursday.

That same day, the FBI on social media announced that two missing cats, Martin and Molly, had been reunited with their owners after one was found under blankets on a bed and the other found on top of a closet.

Gov. Bill Lee has asked the White House for an emergency declaration to free up money and resources to impacted business owners. The federal government is reviewing the request.

The explosion, which took place in the heart of Nashville’s historic downtown, killed the bomber, injured several people and damaged dozens of buildings. Federal officials are continuing to investigate the motive of the man they identified as the bomber, 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner.

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