Apple Slapped With Search Warrant To Unlock Texas Church Shooter's iPhone

Apple struggles with launch of three phones

Apple struggles with launch of three phones

Well, it might all happen again, as authorities have served Apple a search warrant for the iPhone SE belonging to the Sutherland Springs shooter who killed 26 people a couple of weeks ago in Texas.

My San Antonio reported that photos, messages, documents, and other data on the device is wanted.

A rosary on November 12 hangs on the fence surrounding the First Baptist Church one week after 26 people were killed inside in Sutherland Springs, Tex.

U.S. technology major Apple has been served with a search warrant for access to data on an iPhone used by a gunman who recently killed 26 people in a Texas church before shooting himself dead.

Authorities want access to the phone's contents, as well as iCloud data, but they may have a hard time obtaining it. The company had refused the agency's request to help it unlock the phones of the attacker despite a court order. "We are unable to get into that phone", Combs said during a news conference.

The FBI and the Department of Justice, after the San Bernardino shooting in 2015, made a decision to go to court to compel Apple to help it break into the iPhone of Syed Farook.

Fortune contacted both Apple and the Texas Department of Public Safety for more information and will update this story if they respond. At that point, law enforcement had a warrant to search the phone, but had not reached out to Apple with a request for technical assistance.

Last week, Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Christopher Combs alluded to the ongoing dispute between the DOJ and Apple during a press conference and placed at least some blame on the tech giant.

As TechCrunch explains, Apple has been proactive in this case, reaching out to authorities in early November and offering assistance. After the San Bernardino shooting, there was speculation that the deceased shooter may have had accomplices, which would make the contents of his phone critical evidence.

The FBI and DOJ believed they'd found a highly sympathetic case with which to establish precedent for requiring tech companies to provide a "back door" to the encryption used to secure devices, which law enforcement could use to access data when they needed to.

Last year, such an order was issued for an iPhone owned by one of San Bernardino shooters, prompting Apple to refuse the order on the grounds it would spark days of bad publicity, er, sorry, jeopardize the security of all its handsets and set a awful precedent. It remains to be seen whether investigators will be able to find out.

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