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Apple says it offered to help FBI with Texas shooter's phone

The iPhone maker says it reached out to the bureau after learning of its difficulties accessing data on a smartphone.

Apple says it's willing to help the FBI with its investigation of the Texas church shooting.

Apple says it's willing to help the FBI with its investigation of the Texas church shooting.

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Apple offered to help the FBI with an encrypted phone belonging to Texas church shooter Devin Patrick Kelley after learning the bureau was having trouble getting into the device.

The company said its overture came after it learned of the FBI's failed efforts to access the handset's data during a press conference this week. It wasn't immediately clear what model of phone was recovered from Kelley, who committed suicide after killing 26 people and injuring 20 more at a Texas church on Sunday.

"Our team immediately reached out to the FBI after learning from their press conference on Tuesday that investigators were trying to access a mobile phone," Apple said in a statement Wednesday. "We offered assistance and said we would expedite any legal process they send us."

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Apple and the FBI have had tense relations since a bureau investigation into a terror attack in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015. In that case, the US Department of Justice sought a court order to force Apple to write software that would unlock the shooter's iPhone C without the passcode. The Justice Department dropped the case after a contractor it hired found a way to unlock the phone without Apple's help.

Apple said it works with law enforcement every day, offering training to agents on the devices and how to quickly request information from Apple.

The company won't give law enforcement officials the tools to unlock the phone, but it will provide iCloud data when compelled by a court order.

It wasn't immediately clear if the FBI would take Apple up on its offer. Representatives for the FBI and Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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