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FBI locked out of Texas church shooter’s phone

by Kiley Crossland
Posted 11/08/17, 11:33 am

The FBI said Tuesday it has been unable to access Texas gunman Devin Patrick Kelley’s mobile phone due to security features. Earlier this week, agents sent the phone to an FBI computer investigation lab in Quantico, Va. The bureau did not release information about the manufacturer or model of the phone but said it could take specialists weeks to unlock the device and access messages, photos, and data that could reveal the killer’s motive. The situation is indicative of a growing tension between law enforcement and technology companies over security measures involving mobile phones. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to help the FBI unlock the iPhone of a gunman in the San Bernardino, Calif., mass shooting. Tech executives say they have had to increase their use of data-scrambling encryption and other safeguards to protect their customers’ digital security. But the FBI says those measures also keep investigators from gaining access to vital information. Last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray said agents were unable to access more than 6,900 mobile devices during the first 11 months of this fiscal year.

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Kiley Crossland

Kiley is a WORLD Digital assistant editor and reports on marriage, family, and sexuality.

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