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Officials say "potential mass shooting thwarted" in middle Tennessee

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CLIFTON, Tenn. (WZTV) — Middle Tennessee law enforcement agencies thwarted an apparent plan by a Tennessee prison guard to shoot parishioners at a church when he was found to have an AR-15 and up to 1,500 rounds of ammunition on Sunday.

Daniel Vernon Tolar, 35, is lodged in the Wayne County Jail right now on weapons charges related to the incident.

District Attorney Brent Cooper told FOX 17 News Tolar was intercepted by Clifton Police who were acting on a tip.

Police approached Tolar at work and say he was found to have an AR-15 and 1,500 rounds of ammo in his vehicle. He was subsequently arrested.

The head of church security at Emanuel Baptist Church told FOX 17 News that they received a call from Henderson County Sheriff's Department, warning the congregation that Tolar had threatened to "shoot up a church and kill himself. "

Cooper said this potential shooting was stopped because police listened.

“This is what didn’t happen in Florida,” Cooper said. “Law enforcement listened to a tip and a potential tragedy was avoided.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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