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FBI breaks into dead gunman’s iPhone

Syed Rizwan Farook is seen in his California Department of Motor Vehicles photo

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AP

Image caption

Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife killed 14 people in December

The FBI has managed to unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino gunman without Apple’s help, ending a court case, the US justice department says.

Apple had been resisting a court order issued last month requiring the firm to write new software to allow officials to access Rizwan Farook’s phone.

But officials on Monday said that it had been accessed independently and asked for the order to be withdrawn.

Rizwan Farook and his wife killed 14 people in San Bernardino in December.

They were later shot dead by police.

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Last week, prosecutors said “an outside party” had demonstrated a possible way of unlocking the iPhone without the need to seek Apple’s help.

A court hearing with Apple was postponed at the request of the justice department, while it investigated new ways of accessing the phone.

At the time, Apple said it did not know how to gain access, and said it hoped that the government would share with them any vulnerabilities of the iPhone that might come to light.

Media captionApple’s CEO Tim Cook: ”We have a responsibility to help you protect your data”

On Monday a statement by Eileen Decker, the top federal prosecutor in California, said investigators had received the help of “a third party”, but did not specify who that was.

Investigators had “a solemn commitment to the victims of the San Bernardino shooting”, she said.

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