NBC News: FBI asks Apple to unlock NAS Pensacola shooter’s phone

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — According to a report from NBC News, the FBI is asking Apple Inc. to help unlock two iPhones that investigators think were owned by Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, the man believed to have carried out the shooting attack that killed three people last month at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

The report says the FBI sent a letter to Apple’s general counsel Monday seeking their help.

According to the report, the FBI said that although it has court permission to search the contents of the phones, both are password-protected. “Investigators are actively engaging in efforts to ‘guess’ the relevant passcodes but so far have been unsuccessful.”

NBC News reports officials have sought help from other federal agencies, as well as from experts in foreign countries and “familiar contacts in the third-party vendor community.”

Apple released a statement to NBC News, stating, “When the FBI requested information from us relating to this case a month ago, we gave them all of the data in our possession and we will continue to support them with the data we have available.”

NBC News also reported that a law enforcement official said there’s an additional problem with one of the iPhones thought to belong to Alshamrani: He apparently fired a round into the phone, further complicating efforts to unlock it.

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