Texas Rangers serve Apple a warrant for Texas mass murderer’s iPhone SE

“Texas Rangers investigating the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs have served a search warrant on Silicon Valley giant Apple Inc. and are seeking digital photos, messages, documents and other types of data that might have been stored by gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, who was found with an iPhone after he killed himself,” The San Antonio Express-News reports.

“Court records obtained by the San Antonio Express-News show Texas Ranger Kevin Wright obtained search warrants on Nov. 9 for files stored on Kelley’s iPhone, a second mobile phone found near his body and for files stored in Kelley’s iCloud account — Apple’s digital archive that can sync iPhone files,” The San Antonio Express-News reports. “Apple’s policy regarding iCloud content states that material may be provided to law enforcement agencies if they obtain search warrants. The court records don’t show whether authorities have obtained the files from Kelley’s phones… Court records show Kelley was found with an iPhone SE, and he also had a second phone that has gone unmentioned by authorities — a low-tech LG 328BG. A photo included in the application for the search warrant shows Kelley’s silver and white iPhone was spattered with blood.”

“Authorities believe Kelley killed himself during the high-speed pursuit,” The San Antonio Express-News reports. “Investigators discovered a pistol under his feet, and his silver and white iPhone SE was sitting on the vehicle’s front floorboard. Two days after the shooting, a second phone, the black LG model, was found in a pocket in the driver’s side door, and officials want access to the device to forensically search for evidence of capital murder.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote on November 9th, “This is, of course, not about breaking into a locked iPhone. This is about expediting any court order to retrieve whatever, if anything, is backed up in iCloud.”

Apple says it reached out to FBI to assist with Texas mass murderer’s iPhone – November 9, 2017
FBI may have lost critical time unlocking Texas mass murderer’s Apple iPhone – November 8, 2017
FBI unable to access Texas mass murder’s locked phone – November 7, 2017
Apple CEO Cook tweets condolences for victims of mass murder in First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas – November 6, 2017
Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that ‘backdoors’ are a stupid idea – August 10, 2016
U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu says strong encryption without backdoors is a ‘national security priority’ – April 29, 2016
iPhone backdoors would pose a threat, French privacy chief warns – April 8, 2016
The U.S. government’s fight with Apple could backfire big time – March 14, 2016
Obama pushes for iPhone back door; Congressman Issa blasts Obama’s ‘fundamental lack of understanding’ – March 12, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch backs U.S. government overreach on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – March 11, 2016
Former CIA Director: FBI wants to dictate iPhone’s operating system – March 11, 2016
FBI warns it could demand Apple’s iPhone code and secret electronic signature – March 10, 2016
California Democrat Diane Feinstein backs U.S. government overreach over Apple – March 10, 2016
Snowden: U.S. government’s claim it can’t unlock San Bernardino iPhone is ‘bullshit’ – March 10, 2016
Apple could easily lock rights-trampling governments out of future iPhones – February 20, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook lashes out at Obama administration over encryption, bemoans White House lack of leadership – January 13, 2016
Obama administration demands master encryption keys from firms in order to conduct electronic surveillance against Internet users – July 24, 2013


      1. “Perhaps to see if anyone else was involved?”

        We know the gunman operated alone the day of the shooting and the guns were obtained legally.

        Unless he was part of the ISIS network, already disproven, who else could possibly be involved?

        Maybe his redneck buddies at the rural roadhouse drinking Russian beer and colluding about church worshippers?

        My point is, nothing can be obtained from this high and mighty drill except a waste of taxpayer dollars.

        But by all means Apple, cooperate with authorities …

  1. Not only is he dead and not apt to be prosecuted but with all the witnesses what other proof do they need that he did this. This sounds like overkill/overreach. Perhaps they’re still trying to find out why he did this. Or to make it into some other crime, like terrorism. But they will never call it terrorism because he is white.

    1. The definition of terrorism “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” includes a political aspect and from all indications that I’ve seen so far this is not the case.

    2. Two possibilities come to mind for interest in obtaining information on those phones. First, planning and/or involvement by any other persons living or dead for the incident. Second, lots of cold cases out there, possible connection to those closed cases furthering or completing those investigations.

  2. When testing alternatives courses in my mind as an attorney, I find myself asking more and more, “Who’s to complain?” I suppose a esoteric question about privacy could come to mind, but I don’t quite get there on this one.

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