NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 25: Police close off an area damaged by an explosion on Christmas morning on December 25, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. A Hazardous Devices Unit was en route to check on a recreational vehicle which then exploded, extensively damaging some nearby buildings. According to reports, the police believe the explosion to be intentional, with at least 3 injured and human remains found in the vicinity of the explosion.

Source:  Emily Zanotti

Newly released bodycam footage, taken from one of the officers was on scene at the Nashville, Tennessee, Christmas bombing site shows the harrowing moments before and after the blast rocked the city.

The footage, which begins shortly after the first officer arrived on the scene at around 6:15 am Christmas morning, shows Nashville police trying to evacuate stragglers who aren’t heeding an evacuation message and a bomb threat being broadcast from an RV parked on the street.

“The footage begins at 6:14 a.m., where [Officer Michael] Sipos and two other officers ask someone to evacuate from outside Dick’s Last Resort at 154 Second Avenue,” the Tennessean reports. “Then, the footage skips to 6:25 a.m., as Sipos and a female officer are walking up Second Avenue and passing the RV that would eventually explode. ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ is being drowned out by the RV’s warning to evacuate.”

“That’s so weird,” Sipos can be heard saying on the video in reference to the RV. “That’s like some s*** out of a movie.”

“Minutes later, after walking about a block away from the RV, Sipos is attempting to open the trunk of his police vehicle when the explosion takes place,” the Tennessean notes.

The following footage shows Sipos and other officers running toward the scene of the explosion, encountering a number of stunned people wandering around Second Avenue, clearly recovering from the blast and a crater where the RV has been just minutes before. Car alarms wail in the background.

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Sipos’ bodycam footage tracks with Officer James Wells’ account of the bombing given to local media over the weekend. Wells was also one of the first officers on the scene; he was called to a report of shots fired but when he arrived at the site of the 911 call, he found the RV broadcasting its bizarre message.

Welles, Sipos, and four other officers quickly sprang into action, clearing residences and businesses within earshot of the RV. After the explosion, the six officers provided emergency aid to people who did not evacuate in time. Although the blast devastated dozens of downtown Nashville businesses, just three people were injured. Only the bomber himself is believed to have died in the blast.

Officer James Luellen, another of the responding Nashville police officials, also related his story to local media.

“Initially, I didn’t hear any shots fired,” Luellen said Sunday. “We were told shots were coming from inside the building at 178 Second Avenue North.”

“I checked the bottom floor,” he continued. “[I] couldn’t see anything, couldn’t hear anything.” While waiting on a code to get in the building, officer Breanna Hosey arrived on scene, and ‘almost immediately’ the RV starting making an announcement: there is a large bomb in this vehicle.”

The RV continued with its announcement at regular intervals, then played Petula Clark’s “Downtown,” and began a final countdown to the blast.

The FBI believes it has positively identified the bomber, though the agency has yet to release information about a possible motive. Sources close to the investigation have said the agency is exploring several different options, including that the bomber may have believed conspiracy theories about 5G wireless communication systems.