The locked iPhone 5c belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters is one of the best-known iPhones in the world thanks to the FBI vs. Apple fight over encryption that we’ve witness in recent weeks. Both the FBI and Apple had their way. The FBI managed to unlock the handset in its quest to find leads related to the investigation, but it did so without Apple’s help. The iPhone maker, meanwhile, avoided a court order that may have forced it to unlock it by circumventing its own security features built into iOS 9.
The FBI was quick to unlock the iPhone with the help of an unnamed party, and we now know what it found.
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There’s nothing relevant on the iPhone 5c, CNN reports, according to U.S. law enforcement officials familiar with the matter.
Investigators now believe that Syed Farook and his wife did not make contact with any third-party using the iPhone in question. The FBI had an 18-minute gap in its timeline, following the shooting, when the attackers could have used the phone to reach others. During that time, the terrorists drove “seemingly aimlessly around the San Bernardino area,” as CNN explains.
Some experts said the iPhone 5c might not hold relevant information because it was Farook’s work phone. The couple destroyed other computers they may have used for communicating with other ISIS members.
Even if there’s no other evidence to help the FBI proceed with the case, the fact the Farooks didn’t talk in any way with others is valuable information as well for the Bureau.
The FBI did retrieve data from the phone that wasn’t stored in the iCloud backups that Apple provided during the investigation, and the data is still being analyzed for leads, CNN said.