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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Sunday, September 11, 2016
Contact: Michael Knight, PIO

Attempted Bombing Suspect Arrested

NASHVILLE — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in conjunction with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) served a federal arrest warrant on Mitchell Oakes. Oakes was arrested without incident in the Eastern Judicial District of Tennessee.

The investigation began on Sept. 10 when the Franklin Police Department (FPD) responded to an incident at a local business relating to a potential explosive device. Based on the nature of the incident, ATF, the Franklin Fire Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol bomb squad, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Williamson County Emergency Management Agency and the FBI responded using their respective resources.

The recovered item was rendered safe by the bomb technicians. The evidence collected from the scene was sent to the ATF laboratory in Atlanta for analysis and determination of explosive components. The Bomb Arson Tracking System (BATS) was utilized to determine if there were any similar type devices or incidents across the country. The U.S. Bomb Data Center (USBDC), which serves as the national repository for explosives related incident data provided intelligence to assist in the investigation of this incident to include creating a timeline of the manufacture of the alleged destructive device.

This joint investigation led to identifying a person of interest in connection with the incident and a subsequent reward was offered by ATF and the FPD. ATF working with the U. S. Attorney’s Office in the Middle and Eastern Judicial Districts obtained federal warrants for felon in possession and an unregistered explosive device in connection with this investigation. Additional state charges are also pending.

ATF, TBI, THP and the Tennessee State Fire Marshal’s Office served the federal arrest warrant on Oakes, who was taken into custody without incident. The Chattanooga Police Department bomb squad, Van Buren County and Knox County Sheriff’s Offices provided additional support to the situation. The individual’s court appearance is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 12 in the Middle Judicial District of Tennessee.

Anyone with additional information about this crime should contact the ATF at (800) ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867). Information can also be sent to ATF via the mobile app by using the Nashville Field Division as the location.

ATF is charged with enforcing the federal explosives and arson laws, which include the National Firearms Act, the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 and the Safe Explosives Act of 2002. More information about ATF and its programs is available at


Nashville Field Division