The FBI are looking into whether the suspect at the center of the Nashville Christmas Day bombing was paranoid about 5G conspiracy theories, according to reports.
Steve Fridrich, a real estate agent based in Nashville, contacted the FBI to tell them that he previously worked with a man named Tony Warner. Investigators believe a man named Anthony Quinn Warner to be a person of interest in the camper van explosion outside an AT&T building that injured three people on the morning of December 25.
Speaking to WSMV, Fridrich said agents asked him if the man he worked with had paranoia about 5G technology and conspiracy theories about it being used to spy on Americans.
Fridrich said the man he worked with doing information technology was a “nice guy”, but they did not have a relationship beyond him contacting Warner to work on internet issues.
“You know, he was a techie guy—don’t mean anything negative about that. He would do this thing and leave. He didn’t bother anybody. He did his thing and leave,” Fridrich said.
FBI said they could not comment because of the pending investigation. The agency has been contacted by Newsweek for an update on the investigation.
Earlier this year, conspiracy theories about the implementation of 5G, including that the technology somehow helps spread or is even the cause of coronavirus, were widely shared and believed by some.
The baseless theories resulted in people attacking 5G mobile phone masts in the U.K as misinformation spread on social media.
“The 5G story is complete and utter rubbish, it’s nonsense, it’s the worst kind of fake news,” NHS England’s national medical director Stephen Powis previously said in a statement.
Investigators are continuing to try and establish a motive for the explosion, with the blast likely being the result of a suicide bombing. Human remains were found in the RV after the explosion in downtown Nashville at around 6:30 a.m.
Two senior law enforcement officials previously confirmed to Newsweek that investigators are set to take a DNA test from the mother of Warner to determine whether it is his remains that were found.
“Assuming this is the mother of the bomber, the FBI labs are in 48-72 hour turnaround for confirmation,” one of the senior law enforcement sources told Newsweek.
Investigators are also looking into if the father of the suspect’s previous employment at BellSouth, a telecommunications company that merged into AT&T in 2006, had anything to do with the bombing.
“In an investigation of this magnitude it would be logical to see if there is a nexus between adverse employment action of the father, and the location of where the bombing took place,” a law enforcement source said.
The blast has also affected cell phone service and other communications devices in the area.
In a statement on Saturday, AT&T said: “Our teams continue to work around the clock on recovery efforts from yesterday morning’s explosion in Nashville.
“We have two portable cell sites operating in downtown Nashville with numerous additional portable sites being deployed in the Nashville area and in the region.”