Nashville authorities believe an explosion that occurred in downtown Nashville early Christmas morning was an "intentional act," sparked by a vehicle.
Police responded to reports of shots fired near Second Avenue and Commerce Street before 6 a.m., the Tennessean reports. Upon arrival, they noticed a suspicious vehicle outside a nearby AT&T building. Officers alerted the department's bomb squad, which was en route when a "significant explosion" occurred around 6:30 a.m., police spokesman Don Aaron said.
"We do believe this to have been an intentional act," Aaron said. "Significant damage has been done to the infrastructure there on 2nd Avenue North."
Three people were hospitalized with injuries, though none were in critical condition, according to Nashville Fire spokesperson Joseph Pleasant. The force of the explosion caused damage to nearby buildings and shattered windows in the area.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said on Twitter that the state would provide resources necessary "to determine what happened and who was responsible. Please join @MariaLeeTN and me in praying for those who were injured and we thank all of our first responders who acted so quickly this morning."
The FBI will be taking the lead in the investigation, said spokesman Joel Siskovic. The FBI is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for investigating federal crimes, such as explosives violations and acts of terrorism. Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also on the scene.
Photo: Metro Nashville PD