Apple gets search warrant for data on iPhone used by Texas church shooter: Report
Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, walked into a Texas church and opened fire, killing 26 people. He later killed himself.world Updated: Nov 21, 2017 09:49 IST
US 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.
According to a report in the San Antonio Express-News, Texas Rangers have served Apple with the warrant for data on Devin Patrick Kelley’s iPhone SE, seeking access to both local and iCloud information such as calls, messages and photos.
“Court records obtained by the San Antonio Express-News show Texas Ranger Kevin Wright obtained search warrants on Nov. 9 for files stored on Kelley’s iPhone,” the report said.
The lone gunman had opened fire with an assault rifle on a church congregation during Sunday morning service on November 5. The incident was the latest in a string of mass shootings that brought into focus liberal gun rules in United States.
Though authorities described the shooter as only a “young white male in his early-20s”. He once served with the US air force, in logistics and taught toddlers in an elementary school.
“The iCloud feature is an optional service. Obtaining such records, if they exist, directly from Apple could aid authorities investigating the worst mass shooting in modern Texas history,” the report said.
An Apple spokesperson said the company does not comment on law enforcement matters.
Earlier, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was unable to access the encrypted iPhone used by Kelley. Four email addresses belonging to Kelley have been discovered: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
In March last year, the US justice department told a court it had managed to break the encryption on an iPhone 5C owned by a terrorist who killed 14 people in San Bernardino. Apple had earlier refused to cooperate with the FBI’s request to break its own encryption programme citing privacy concerns.
In response to the justice department announcement, Apple said this case should have never been brought to court as “it was wrong and would set a dangerous precedent”.
With inputs from agencies
First Published: Nov 21, 2017 09:39 IST