CLOSE

A large explosion rocked Nashville, Tenn. early Christmas morning. A blast that was reportedly felt across most of Davidson County around 6:30 a.m. CT caused widespread destruction in the popular downtown area of Second Ave. N and Church Street.

At least three people were injured and 20 buildings were damaged by the blast, according to reports.

Metro Police say the explosion is linked to a recreational vehicle found outside a Hooters Restaurant at 184 Second Avenue North near the banks of the Cumberland River.

During a press conference Friday morning, local authorities said they believe the explosion was an “intentional act,” but are unclear of the motive at this point. The investigation has been handed over to the FBI, who confirmed they’re treating the act as intentional. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is also assisting with K-9 units.

WNSR Radio owner Ted Johnson says he felt a “low rumble” ten miles away at his home in neighboring Bellevue, Tenn. shortly after the explosion.

From initial reports by local media, Metro Police were called to the area on a report of shots fired. As police started to clear the area, they noticed a “Suspicious RV” and immediately called for assistance from the hazardous devices unit. The vehicle then exploded before bomb technicians could assess the situation with police on the scene.

Nashville fire crews are asking people to avoid the area as they monitor for potential radiation from the explosion. Metro Police said debris from the blast was found near the old Metro Courthouse and near the downtown pedestrian bridge.