FBI may have lost critical time unlocking Texas shooter’s iPhone

Stephen Nellis and Dustin Volz reporting for Reuters:

The Reuters source said that in the 48 hours between Sunday’s shooting and Comb’s news conference Apple had received no requests from federal, state or local law enforcement authorities for technical assistance with Kelley’s phone or his associated online accounts at Apple.

The delay may prove important. If Kelley had used a fingerprint to lock his iPhone, Apple could have told officials they could use the dead man’s finger to unlock his device, so long as it had not been powered off and restarted.

But iPhones locked with a fingerprint ask for the user’s pass code after 48 hours if they have not been unlocked by then.

One of these days, the FBI will learn to just ask Apple for help from the get go rather than trying to do it themselves then getting mad when it’s too late for Apple to do anything.