Apple says FBI lost chance to unlock Texas mass killer’s iPhone

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Apple is trying to wash its hands of future liability in the investigation into Patrick Kelley, the man who killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before killing himself.

FBI special agent Christopher Combs held a press conference on Tuesday, two days after the mass shooting, and said that it has not gotten past the security system on Kelley’s phone. Later reporting from The Washington Post reported that it was an iPhone.

Apple has come out to the media to say that it had attempted to contact the FBI after the press conference to assist in the investigation. The full statement was relayed through BuzzFeed‘s John Paczkowski:

Paczkowski has made the point that if the iPhone had Touch ID authentication, then Apple notified the FBI after the point where the passcode became required for entry into the device.

There’s now concern that another legal battle over Apple’s role in helping the FBI decrypt data may come. Last year, Apple sued the FBI after the agency requisitioned a backdoor tool for its encryption to get into the iPhone of a mass shooter in San Bernardino, California. The Department of Justice ended up buying an entry tool from a gray-hat software firm.

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About The Author
Jules Wang

Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.