NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On October 20, the Nashville Fire Department was called to the 400 Block of Southwood Drive, in response to a house fire. At the time, Metro Police reported 81-year old Terry Blackwell was found dead inside the home.

Shortly after, Blackwell’s church home, Nashville Cowboy Church, posted the heartbreaking news.

“He was a very gentle man, to my knowledge, he had no enemies. If he did, I certainly didn’t know anything about them,” said Joanne Cash Yates, Pastor of Nashville Cowboy Church.

Church members were devastated after hearing the news of Blackwell’s passing, Yates stating, “I’m shocked. I’m just shocked because I don’t know of any enemies Terry had.”

Eight days later, Metro Police ruled Blackwell’s death a homicide. In a press release, MNPD explained he had died from smoke inhalation, from a fire they believe was set intentionally.

Blackwell was a longtime keyboard player at his church.

“We never know when our time is up, or how my husband used to say, our expiration date. We all have one, and sad to say Terry’s was a lot sooner than we realized it would be,” said Yates.

Homicide detectives are following strong leads in the case and are asking anyone with information on the case to call Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.