Apple has been served with a search warrant for data from deceased Sutherland Springs gunman Devin Patrick Kelly. Served by Texas Rangers, they are hoping to get the shooter’s iPhone and iCloud data with the help from Apple. Kelly killed 26 people in a Texas church earlier this month.
The San Antonio Express-News reports that the search warrant covers files stored directly on the iPhone SE device that was found near Kelley’s body, and files stored in his iCloud account. The Texas Rangers are also seeking phone call and message information, photos, videos, and other data that dates back to January 1st, 2016. There was also another warrant issued on a second device, which is an LG feature phone. The warrants were issued and obtained on November 9th, which is two days after FBI complained that it could not access the data on the shooter’s phone because of encryption.
According to Apple’s policies, it will share iCloud data with law enforcement agencies if there is a valid search warrant issued. In this case, Apple has been served with a valid search warrant. Depend on on how frequently Kelly created backups to his iCloud account, there may also be additional information on the iPhone itself. It’s worth mentioning that Apple has also previously fought requests to directly access devices.
The FBI again made a case for themselves by using the Sutherland Springs shooting to argue that strong encryption is hurting law enforcement’s ability to investigate for potential evidence and crimes. FBI said that it was “working very hard to get into the phone.” Apple has no choice but to respond to the search warrant’s request, so it will be interesting to see how far Apple goes to providing access and data to authorities.