Hopeful for answers in hopeless confusion, Nashville remains disappointed as officials disclose the bare minimum with regards to the attack.
Much remains undisclosed to the public in Nashville, Tennessee, as this evening brings the day after the bomb blast to a close.
What we know so far is that gunshot noises drew police to the area just before 5:30 am on Christmas morning. Radio transmissions between officers on site confirm the time of arrival. Whether these gunshots were actually fired or played over the RV’s loudspeaker, as the later evacuation message was, is unclear.
Per his report, Police Chief John Drake noticed the suspicious RV not much later and notified the bomb squad. Thus far, the forty-five minutes between officers arriving on the scene and the RV’s initial broadcast is unaccounted for.
The RV is reported to have warned bystanders to clear the area at 6:15 am, fifteen minutes before the blast. Six police officers came into the area at this time to look for stragglers. One officer was knocked to the ground by the blast, and the other sustained “hopefully temporary” hearing loss.
It was confirmed at today’s 1:00 pm press conference that human remains were found at the site. Officials explained they are sorting through the damage from the boundaries of the site moving inward and, thus, are unable to identify where this individual might have been. One would suspect that a missing person might have been reported by now, as it has been more than 24 hours since the blast, and that the police force would know if an officer was missing. For these reasons, many assume timidly that the remains belong to the perpetrator (or perpetrators).
CBS reported that the FBI had found a suspect, lending much hype to the aforementioned press conference on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately, officials did not disclose any suspects or leads at this time. After receiving more than 500 tips so far, investigators are still busy threading the pieces together. The message of the conference was forward-focused. The officials stressed safety, efficiency, and the talent and expertise of the investigators, but nothing more.
AT&T transmission buildings are supposed to be bomb-proof, designed specifically with features like few or no windows. The gaping hole amidst piles of rubble suggests otherwise.
This was anything but an attack on civilians. In fact, they were warned and encouraged to evacuate. This was not an attack on the economy, either. Had it been, the public would have seen a beloved moneymaker crumble. We can only ask: What did the attack achieve?
I received a message from a friend today: “I just got to work and connected to Wifi. Is your service working?”
“AT&T?” I replied.
Many individual’s communication networks have remained down through the day, and, although AT&T is attempting to provide pop-up replacements, the scale of the damage surmounts these efforts tenfold. What’s troubling is that those who lost service have lost access to an array of outlets: TV, phone, laptop, etc. They are quite literally in the dark, and compounding this effect, we cannot see them, either! Those affected by this disruption in communication are hereby excluded from the void of public information and opinion, the internet in the information age; They cannot make their presence felt.
Some have suggested that this attack was some sort of warm-up drill, a test to see whether or not information obtained could be trusted. If a drill or test was indeed conducted, the lessons learned from it thus far are that the communication networks spanning an entire region can be critically disrupted in the blink of an eye. Just like that, we could be thrown into the era before radio communications, something we are so comfortably dependent on today.
What would you do if yours and others’ services went down like *that*? Have you ever really considered it? I hadn’t before, but maybe we ought to.