But Nash, 28, said he was just doing his job.
"I appreciate the public recognition of the actions of myself and my fellow officers yesterday," he said in a news conference Wednesday, according to CNN affiliate News 12 Long Island.
"Although I feel that we were just doing our job like thousands of officers do every day, I understand the importance of yesterday's events and the role we played.
Nash works in the NYPD's 1st precinct and joined the department in 2012. He is now part of the investigation, which is being conducted jointly by the NYPD and the FBI. Nash said he could not comment further because of the investigation.
"I just want to thank my family and friends for their support and all the responding officers who assisted me," he said.
Around 3:05 p.m., the suspect allegedly mounted a curb and drove his rented truck down a cycle lane parallel to the West Side Highway in lower Manhattan, hitting cyclists and pedestrians.
Eight people were killed and almost a dozen injured before the suspect, Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, crashed the truck into a school bus, police said. He then exited the vehicle while displaying imitation firearms before Nash, a uniformed officer, confronted him and shot him in the abdomen, stopping him in his tracks.
Saipov, an Uzbek national, was wounded and transported to a local hospital.
Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill credited Nash with ending the carnage.
"I want to commend the response of our NYPD officer that was on post near the location who stopped the carnage moments after it began," he said in a news conference Tuesday.
He praised the work of first responders, including the Fire Department and EMS personnel, who "surely helped save additional lives."
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also thanked each NYPD officer involved, "starting with the officer who stopped this tragedy from continuing."