Nashville box truck driver charged in bomb scare outside convenience store

Because of Nashville law enforcement, no lives were lost: Rep. Burchett

Tennessee Congressman Tim Burchett on the heroism displayed by Nashville police officers following Christmas Day explosion.

The driver of a box truck who caused a scare Sunday outside a convenience store by playing similar audio that was heard coming from a recreational vehicle that exploded in downtown Nashville is facing felony charges, a Tennessee sheriff's office announced.

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said late Sunday that members of a church and customers at the nearby market where the white box truck was spotted Sunday morning heard the driver playing audio "similar to what was heard" before the RV exploded in downtown Nashville on Christmas Day.

Sgt. Steve Craig said deputies were called to investigate reports of the truck driver playing audio "loudly" outside the market and later learned that the man was also accused of similar actions outside a church during a service.

The sheriff's office said in a statement that 33-year-old driver James Turgeon has been detained and charged with two counts of felony filing a false report and one count of tampering with evidence. Officials say Turgeon was charged with evidence tampering because he "damaged the speaker system wiring intentionally."

The Tennessee Highway Patrol has said a robot was sent to investigate the truck and no device was found.

Turgeon is being held on $500,000 bond, authorities said.

Earlier Sunday, police received reports of a "suspicious" box truck parked at a Crossroads Market in the county’s Walter Hill at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Officials say the driver left the parking lot and was pulled over and detained by authorities. Law enforcement agents shut down a section of highway in neighboring Wilson County as authorities sent out a robot to investigate.

No explosive devices were detected, Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Bill Miller said.

Investigators work at the scene of an explosion Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. The explosion that shook the largely deserted streets of downtown Nashville early Christmas morning shattered windows, damaged buildings and wounded three people. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Also on Sunday, officials identified the Christmas Day bombing suspect as 63-year-old Anthony Quinn Warner. Police had regarded Warner as a person of interest in the bombing since at least Saturday when federal and local investigators converged on the home linked to him.

The bombing took place on Christmas Day well before downtown streets were bustling with activity and was accompanied by a recorded announcement warning anyone nearby that a bomb would soon detonate. Then the audio switched to a recording of Petula Clark’s 1964 hit "Downtown" shortly before the blast.


Warner was killed in the blast. Officials have not publicly declared a motive in the case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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