Nashville explosion
© Reuters/Andrew Nelles
A vehicle burns near the site of an explosion in Nashville, Tennessee, December 25, 2020.
Police in Nashville, Tennessee believe that a massive Christmas morning explosion in the city "was an intentional act." The blast destroyed buildings and vehicles, and filled downtown Nashville with smoke and fire.

The explosion occurred at around 6:30am local time near Second Avenue, according to city police. Police responded to a 'shots fired' call in the area and saw an RV they considered suspicious. As officers evacuated the area and a bomb squad arrived, the RV exploded, police sources told WKRN News.

Police and federal agents began an investigation immediately afterwards, with a police spokesman telling reporters that the blast "was an intentional act."

According to some witnesses, a message coming from the RV prior to the blast warned bystanders to evacuate. Police told News Channel 5 that they are investigating these reports.

Three people were transported to hospital following the explosion, but none of their injuries have been reported as critical.

However, the blast devastated a large stretch of Second Avenue, destroying the facades of buildings, smashing windows, setting vehicles on fire, and spewing thick black smoke into the air.

Firefighters have asked the public to stay at least two blocks from the blast site as a precaution in the event of further explosions. Around 30 people have reportedly been evacuated.

According to media reports, President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident.