FBI unlocks San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone

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Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook were photographed at O'Hare Airport in 2014.

LOS ANGELES – Federal officials have unlocked the cell phone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

A “third party” had come forward to help federal investigators unlock the iPhone without the help of Apple, the Times reported.

It remains unclear what the FBI found on the phone.

“We sought an order compelling Apple to help unlock the phone to fulfill a solemn commitment to the victims of the San Bernardino shooting – that we will not rest until we have fully pursued every investigative lead related to the vicious attack,” the statement said. “Although this step in the investigation is now complete, we will continue to explore every lead, and seek any appropriate legal process, to ensure our investigation collects all of the evidence related to this terrorist attack. The San Bernardino victims deserve nothing less,” prosecutors said in a statement obtained by the Times.

The FBI dropped a request to force Apple to aid in the effort to gain access to information stored on one of the devices.  Apple strongly opposed helping to unlock the phone stating it would threaten their customers’ privacy.

Although the request was halted, the legal showdown between the tech giant and the federal government may resurface in future cases.