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Person of interest identified in Nashville Christmas Day explosion

The aftermath of an "intentional" explosion in Nashville on Dec. 25, 2020. (Metropolitan Nashville Police Department/Released)

Authorities working in Nashville have officially identified a person of linked to the Christmas Day explosion that rattled the city early Friday.

“The police chief [confirmed] to NBC News that they have identified a person of interest in connection with this bombing investigation,” NBC News Correspondent Shaquille Brewster said Saturday, a little over an hour after authorities wrapped up a briefing in the city.

“This is a person of interest, not a formal suspect,” Brewster confirmed, pointing to a “large law enforcement presence” in the area of Antioch, about 12 miles southeast of Nashville.

Following information related to the investigation, authorities have filtered in and out of an Antioch duplex for “court authorized activity,” FBI public affairs officer Darrell DeBusk told the Nashville Tennessean.

DeBusk said he was unaware of any person currently in custody.

CBS News was the first to report the person of interest Saturday, citing sources. At the afternoon briefing, authorities refused to corroborate that.

“We can’t confirm any individuals or anybody we’ve identified,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Doug Korneski said.

“At this point we don’t have any indication we are looking for another subject,” said Korneski. “But again, there’s 500 leads we’re running through.”

Authorities continue to cordon off the downtown area of the blast, but said there is no further threat.

“Nashville is safe. … We have no known threats at this time against our city,” said Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake.

Whoever is responsible for the blast was dubbed the “ultimate Scrooge” by U.S. Attorney Don Cochran.

At 6:29 a.m. local time Friday, a bomb planted in an RV in the city’s downtown area exploded, injuring three civilians.

The blast, near the AT&T building, was preceded by an eerie warning coming from the vehicle, which ordered bystanders: “If you can hear this message, evacuate now.”

“I don’t want to speculate, but you would think that this person didn’t want to harm people, that maybe he just wanted to destroy,” Drake said on Friday.

At that time, he noted “tissue that we believe could be remains” was found at the scene.

Korneski said authorities are “vigorously looking for” identification on the tissue.

The ongoing investigation is being led by the FBI.

More than $300,000 has been raised as a reward for information leading to the arrest of the party or parties behind the blast.

©2020 New York Daily News.

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