James Turgeon, 33, (pictured) was arrested on Sunday after allegedly broadcasting an unsettling evacuation warning from his truck as he drove through Rutherford County, Tennessee
The driver of a box truck who was arrested after allegedly broadcasting an unsettling evacuation warning in a Tennessee town just two days after a similar vehicle was used in the Nashville Christmas Day bombing has been identified.
James Turgeon, 33, sparked fears of a possible copycat attack on Sunday when he allegedly drove through Lebanon, Tennessee, playing a recording ‘similar to what was heard’ before an RV exploded in downtown Nashville on Friday morning.
The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said Turgeon was booked on two counts of felony filing a false report and one count of tampering with evidence.
Turgeon was driving his truck from Rutherford County into Wilson County when police pulled him over on Highway 231 South, about 30 miles east of Nashville.
A bomb squad was called in to search the truck for explosives but none were found, police said.
The traffic stop took place mere hours after the same highway was closed amid reports of a truck with PA system telling people to evacuate the area.
Turgeon was driving his truck from Rutherford County into Wilson County when police pulled him over on Highway 231 South, about 30 miles east of Nashville
Footage from the scene showed a large police presence blocking the road as a robot was sent in to examine Turgeon’s truck
Sgt Steve Craig of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s office said deputies began pursuing Turgeon after receiving reports of a truck playing audio ‘loudly’ while parked near the Crossroads Market at about 10.30am Sunday.
Deputies later learned that the truck had also played the audio outside the Kings Chapel Independent Missionary Baptist Church during a service earlier in the day.
WSMV reported that the audio included a warning telling people to evacuate the area.
After pulling over Turgeon’s vehicle, police evacuated residents living in the area as a precaution.
Footage from the scene showed a large police presence blocking the road as a robot was sent in to examine Turgeon’s truck.
He was booked into jail on Sunday afternoon on three charges – including two felony counts for the content of the audio.
Officials said the evidence tampering charge was brought because Turgeon ‘damaged the speaker system wiring intentionally’.
Turgeon is now being held on $500,000 bond, officials said.
A robot was brought in to examine Turgeon’s truck for explosives
Police said no explosives were found inside Turgeon’s box truck (pictured)
His stunt came as the state of Tennessee remains on edge in the wake of the explosion in downtown Nashville on Christmas Day, which left three people injured and damaged dozens of buildings.
Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, was named by the FBI on Sunday as the perpetrator of the Nashville bombing, after DNA showed he perished in the attack carried out with an RV rigged to explode.
The explosion took place before downtown streets were bustling with activity and was accompanied by a recorded announcement warning anyone nearby that a bomb would soon detonate. Then, for reasons that may never be known, the audio switched to a recording of Petula Clark’s 1964 hit ‘Downtown’ shortly before the blast.
Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, (pictured) was named by the FBI as the perpetrator of the Nashville Christmas Day bombing, after DNA showed he perished in the attack carried out with an RV rigged to explode
In the weeks prior to the suicide attack, which injured three and caused massive damage, Warner told his ex-girlfriend that he had cancer and gave her his car, according to the New York Times.
On December 5, he also told a real estate agent that he worked for as a tech consultant that he planned to retire, according to the newspaper.
A month before the bombing, Warner also gave away the $160,000 home he lived in to a woman in California whose link to him remains unclear, DailyMail.com first reported on Saturday.
Warner’s actions leading up to the bombing are now under scrutiny as investigators try to piece together his motive in the unusual attack.
The freelance IT consultant, whom neighbors described as an ‘oddball’, was ‘heavily into conspiracy theories’, a source close to the investigation told DailyMail.com.
Warner believed 5G cellular technology was killing people, and may have been spurred on in the conspiracy theory by the 2011 death of his father, who worked for telecom BellSouth, which later merged with AT&T.
The bombing badly damaged a critical AT&T transmission center, wreaking havoc on phone communications in multiple states that the company is still racing to resolve.
Electronic devices seized from Warner’s former home in Antioch, a suburb of Nashville, have been sent to a digital forensics laboratory to unlock his online activity and find out where he discussed his warped views.
‘We are waiting on the digital footprint that should finally provide us with some answers,’ the source explained.
‘The unofficial motive thus far is the suspect believed 5G was the root of all deaths in the region and he’d be hailed a hero.’
The RV Warner allegedly used in the Christmas morning attack is shown above
Investigators are seen digging through the wreckage of the Nashville Christmas Day bombing