The FBI’s special agent in charge of the investigation into Friday’s shocking explosion in downtown Nashville, Tenn., vowed that the suspect or suspects linked to the destructive blast will be hunted down and brought to justice.
"We will find out who did this," Agent Matt Foster said at a news conference, according to Nashville newspaper The Tennessean.
"This is our city, too," the Nashville-based agent continued. "We’re putting everything we have into finding who was responsible for what happened here today."
As of early Saturday, it appeared that Tennessee’s capital city had been spared any fatalities in connection with the early morning explosion, which left three people hospitalized with injuries and one police officer experiencing hearing loss, according to the newspaper.
Six Metro Nashville police officers were being hailed as heroes for evacuating people from the area before a suspicious recreational vehicle parked in the downtown area suddenly exploded – after an audio recording appeared to warn anyone nearby that a blast was about to happen.
It remained unclear whether anyone was inside the RV when it exploded, though authorities said "tissue" found near the site was being examined to determine if it was human remains.
Meanwhile, experts told the Tennessean it could take weeks or months to process the enormous amount of evidence that investigators were expecting t examine during their probe.
Agencies participating included the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as state and local authorities, the newspaper reported.
Nashville authorities on Friday declared the explosion an "intentional act."
The initial work of the investigation included law enforcement officers going door-to-door throughout the downtown area with bomb-detecting dogs, to make sure no additional explosives had been planted nearby, the Tennessean reported.
"They’re gonna want to make sure that this is a single event, that this wasn’t some larger-scale coordinated attack or that there were potentially other devices around the city," Adam Hall, assistant professor in Biomedical Forensic Sciences at the Boston University School of Medicine, told he paper.
Hall said investigators will typically will cordon off a search area that extends twice as far as where the initial evidence is located.
They’ll examine all surveillance video and GPS tracking information from the area as well as take aerial photography of the blast area, Hall said.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper told reporters that more than 40 businesses had been damaged by the explosion.
"It will be some time until Second Avenue is back to normal," he said.