Investigators are aware of statements the suspect made about a conspiracy theory that powerful politicians and Hollywood figures are actually lizards who have extraterrestrial origins.
By Tom Winter, Michael Kosnar and Wilson Wong
Investigators are exploring several conspiracy theories as potential motives behind the Christmas Day bombing outside an AT&T building in Nashville, including evidence that the bomber believed in lizard people and a so-called reptilian conspiracy, two senior law enforcement officials told NBC News on Wednesday.
Investigators are expected to conclude their crime scene work this week, but it could take several more weeks until they determine the motive of the bomber, Anthony Quinn Warner, who died in the bombing.
Since Saturday, authorities have been probing Warner’s digital devices — which one official says includes a significant trove of pictures, videos and writings — looking for any clues on what drove the man to set off a powerful bomb inside his recreational vehicle that took down communications networks and injured several people in downtown Nashville.
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Specifically, investigators are looking into the suspect’s previous trips to an undisclosed location in Tennessee where he would camp out in his R.V. and according to the suspect’s statements to others, hunt possible aliens, the officials said.
In addition, investigators are aware of statements the suspect made about an internet conspiracy that powerful politicians and Hollywood figures are actually lizards or other reptiles who have extraterrestrial origins and are taking over society, the officials said.
Believers in the unfounded conspiracy theory believe that politicians, including the Clintons and the comedian Bob Hope, who died in 2003, were actually lizard-like creatures sent to earth and are responsible for a number of historic tragedies. Justin Bieber and the Obamas have also been named in the conspiracy theory.
Federal investigators have also asked associates and acquaintances of Warner whether he believed in equally unfounded conspiracy theories about AT&T and 5G mobile service and whether that was a motivation for choosing the AT&T building as the site of the bombing.
A senior law enforcement official said investigators have cast a wide net that reaches out to family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and businesses where he may have purchased bomb-making supplies.
A few people were difficult to track down because of the Christmas holiday, the official said.
More than a year before the bombing, Warner’s girlfriend warned police he was building bombs in a recreational vehicle parked at his home, according to police reports.
On Aug. 21, 2019, a lawyer for Warner’s girlfriend told officers that Warner “frequently talks about the military and bomb making,” according to an incident report released by the Metro Nashville Police Department.
The attorney’s call prompted officers to visit Warner’s house, where they knocked on the front door to no avail, according to the report. Officers wrote that they spotted “several security cameras and wires attached to an alarm at the front door,” the report said.
Nashville police were warned a year ago that suspect was making bomb
DEC. 30, 202002:30