WBEN Photo/Susan Rose

Law Enforcers had a chance to unlock Texas shooter's phone

Cambria: could have used shooter's fingerprint for 48 hours

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Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Apple Inc. is reaching out to the FBI to offer its expertise in unlocking the Texas church shooter's phone.

This is in stark contrast to the resistance Apple showed following the San Bernardino shooting.

Buffalo Defense Attorney Paul Cambria says he thinks it's just a change of heart by Apple.  In any case, he says you have to have a warrant.

Cambria also said law enforcement had an opportunity to unlock the shooter's phone.  "Within 48 hours they could have touched the fingerprint of the person to the phone and unlocked the phone that way. But once 48 hours passes, if there is fingerprint ID on the phone, it's gone". 

Cambria says he sees this happen all the time in legal cases.  "Spouses fall asleep and the other spouse takes the phone and touches their finger on it and reads all of the messages and it leads to problems".

The FBI, he said, would still have to get a warrant and serve it on Apple. They would have no choice, Cambria said, they would have to help.

With face-ID scanners coming into play with phones, is retrieving data only going to get more difficult for police?  Yes, said Cambria and he expects the issue to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I actually have a case pending here in Buffalo. My position is that police must get a specific warrant on a specific phone number each time because your cell phone now has more personal information than your home.  The court has to protect that".

Apple Aiding FBI Probe of Texas Church Shooter's Phone - Paul Cambria

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