The bomb threat called into County Clerk Kathy Prater's office Tuesday morning took a moment to sink in, according to the employee who answered the telephone.
"I just wanted to say, 'Excuse me, what did you say,' but it was like a recording," Tammy King said.
"It caught me off guard because I was assisting a customer at the same time. I was distracted so I can't really quote you verbatim what he said.
"He said something like, 'There is a bomb in the courthouse that will be detonated' and that was it. Then it was just total silence."
King -- and personnel at other clerks' offices across Tennessee -- said the call was obviously a recording.
"It was a man's voice and not in accented English at all. Excellent English," King said.
"I was, of course, surprised. You could tell it was a recorded message, not an actual person."
King quickly took action after hearing the threat.
"I was just shocked. It was like, 'Did I hear that right?'" King said.
"When I realized no one was there I went and told Kathy what happened. I was just alarmed."