Local explosives expert gives thoughts on Nashville Explosion

He isn’t involved in the investigation, but said the explosion in Nashville may have come from a homemade bomb.
local input on Nashville explosion
local input on Nashville explosion
Updated: Dec. 26, 2020 at 6:08 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Investigators are still working to find more details on the explosion early Christmas morning in Nashville.

David Hyche is now retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). He was there for 31 years and is now the Chief of Police in Calera.

“I’ve been involved in the World Trade Center bombing in ’93,” Hyche said. “Loosely involved in that. Heavily involved with the Moody Mail bombing, and involved with the Rudolph bombings in Atlanta and Birmingham.”

He isn’t involved in the investigation, but said the explosion in Nashville may have come from a homemade bomb.

“It is my opinion based on what I have seen,” Hyche said. “It is probably going to be a homemade explosive or some low explosives that are purchased. The goal now for the people processing that scene, is to determine exactly what this bomb was made of.”

Hyche said experts will work every explosion the same, regardless of size.

“You would work the World Trade Center Bombing in ‘93 or Oklahoma City, something that large, just like you would a mailbox bombing,” Hyche said.

He said no matter what type of explosives the bomb was, a lot can be told by how the damage looks.

“Military explosives are more fuel rich and they have darker smoke,” he said. “Commercial explosives have lighter smoke. A trained person can tell a lot of times whether it is a high velocity explosive or a low velocity like a low explosive.”

Hyche said investigators should be able to quickly determine what kind of explosives were used with technology.

“They’ll have a pile of unknown items,” Hyche said. “They will slowly segregate those unknown items into known items, like possible batteries, fuse, switch mechanism. That sort of thing. Your goal is to get the unknown pile to go away.”

He said he thinks the Nashville bombing was unusual.

“Very unusual circumstances,” he said. “The things that I know about it are extremely odd and it is going to be very interesting. Every bombing I’ve been involved with, they are all solved by somebody with experience and expertise.”

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