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Federal Bureau of Investigation can't access Texas shooter's locked phone

Federal Bureau of Investigation can't access Texas shooter's locked phone”

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have gotten hold of the cell phone belonging to the gunman who killed 26 people in a Texas church on Sunday.

But the 26 year-old was able to buy a rifle just last year.

While receiving the missing persons report, police were told that Kelley had been located and taken into custody. Officials instead pointed to a possible "domestic situation" with his mother-in-law, who previously attended the First Baptist Church, but was not present during the attack. The Air Force has acknowledged it failed to send the information about his crime to the national database that would have blocked his gun purchase.

"They're in the process of looking at the phone", Christopher Combs, the special agent leading the investigation into the shooting, told reporters on Tuesday.

I can assure you that we are working very hard to get into the phone and that will continue until we find an answer.

"It could be tomorrow, a week or a month". "We don't know what he was thinking, what was in his mind or what his future plans are".

It is unclear the type of phone that shooter Devin Kelley used, which is now in the possession of Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.

Phone encryption has been a problem for the feds in the past - the Justice Department tried to force Apple to help it access the San Bernadino shooter's iPhone a year ago, though investigators eventually cracked it themselves.

The FBI finally managed to get into the iPhone through other means.

"It highlights an issue that you've all heard about before, with the advance of the technology and the phones and the encryptions, law enforcement, whether that's at the state, local or federal level, is increasingly not able to get into these phones", Christopher Combs was quoted by the USA media outlets as saying.

Sessions said the FBI was unable to access almost 7,500 mobile devices they had seized as evidence in ongoing investigations "even though there was court orders or legal authority to do so".

"That's more than half of all the mobile devices we attempted to access in that timeframe", he said.



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