Nashville Police Chief John Drake said authorities are investigating what could be human remains found near the blast site in Nashville on Friday.
“We have found tissue that we believe could be remains,” he told reporters, saying they’d have to have it tested to be sure.
There are no known fatalities, Mr. Drake said.
According to multiple reports, human remains were found in the area. It’s unclear if the remains are a suspect or a victim.
“Initial evidence does show that the early morning explosion was a deliberate bomb set off in our community and the blast caused injuries and catastrophic damage to this very historic part of Nashville,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said.
The three individuals that were injured in the blast and hospitalized are in stable condition. The officers who were injured at the explosion site are recovering, officials said.
The blast originated from a RV outside an AT&T building on Second Avenue, a strip of shops and businesses at the heart of Nashville’s tourist area. Smoke billowed from the area earlier Friday and glass shattered in several buildings.
AT&T reported outages related to the explosion.
The blast damaged several buildings in the area, with the Nashville Fire Department still trying to determine which are structurally sound.
Mr. Cooper issued a state of emergency for downtown Nashville and implemented a curfew Friday afternoon that will last until Sunday evening.
“It will be some time before Second Avenue is back. It is not going to be the three days of the curfew,” he said. “We’re not going to rest until those responsible for this outrageous and cowardly attack are brought to justice.”
Social services are operating to give shelter to those displaced by the explosion.
Mr. Drake said officers were responding to a report of shots fired in the area early Friday when they found the suspicious RV playing a recorded warning that a bomb would go off in minutes. They were evacuating residents and waiting for the hazardous devices unit at the time of the explosion.
The warning blared: “Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode,” Betsy Williams, a witness who lived in the area, told the Tennessean.
Nashville police released a photo of the RV Friday afternoon that was taken by a security camera well before the blast, and asked the public to forward any information that could aid in the investigation.