Investigators have been trying to access the two devices — an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 5 that belonged to Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old 2nd Lt. in the Royal Saudi Air Force — but have been unable to access them because the phones are locked and encrypted, according to the letter from the FBI’s general counsel, Dana Boente.
The FBI has received a court authorization to search the phones and the devices have been sent to the bureau’s lab in Quantico, Virginia, Boente said.
The investigation is considered a “high-priority national security matter,” Boente said in the letter, which was reviewed by The Associated Press. Alshamrani opened fire at the Pensacola naval base on Dec. 6, killing the three sailors and injuring several others before he was shot dead by a sheriff’s deputy.
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