Sen. Marsha Blackburn Friday praised members of the Nashville Police Department for their quick action in the wake of a massive explosion that rocked the mostly empty streets in the city early Christmas morning.
"This is a time when we are so grateful that we have members of the police, that thin blue line that continues to stand between chaos and calm, for the good work that they have done this Christmas morning when this tragedy, this unspeakable, unseemly tragedy, has occurred in downtown Nashville," the Tennessee Republican told Fox News.
Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said that police had been responding to a call about shots being fired just before 6 a.m. local time but found no signs of a shooting. However, the officers noticed a suspicious vehicle and called for a hazardous response unit. While they waited, the vehicle exploded.
Blackburn said there will be more information from the FBI, which is leading the investigation into the explosion, which officials said was apparently set off intentionally.
The senator said her office has been in touch with state, local, and federal authorities, and that the explosion is a "tragic situation."
"We are of course concerned for safety and security, and we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement who found it suspicious, again, cordoning off the area and working to protect people that live in this downtown area," said Blackburn.
The section where the explosion took place is a "very busy" part of the city, Blackburn said.
"You are down around Broadway," she said. "Of course in Nashville, we have lots of bars and venues, live music venues. You have the Country Music Hall of Fame that is within a few blocks of this area, as is the Symphony Hall, as is the arena, so it is a very busy area. Other times, there is a lot of pedestrian traffic in this area. We are just so grateful for law enforcement and people that were watching and felt this was suspicious."
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