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Law enforcement officials work the scene of the Texas church shooting. Photo: Eric Gay / AP

Law enforcement officials investigating the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, said they have not yet been able to get into suspect Devin Kelley's phone. The phone was flown to FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia, on Monday for further tests.

Why it matters: Kelley's phone may contain key details about his motives. Authorities said Monday that Kelley was engaged in "a domestic situation" with his in-laws. He reportedly sent angry messages to his mother-in-law before the attack on the church, and his grandmother-in-law was among the people he gunned down.

This isn't the first time FBI investigators have had difficulty breaking through encryption to access information on phones. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said, "Warrant-proof encryption is a serious problem ... When investigations of violent criminal organizations come to a halt because we cannot access a phone, even with a court order, lives may be lost" in a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy.

After the San Bernadino shooting, the FBI called on Apple to help unlock one of the shooter's phones for the investigation. In a memo to Apple employees, CEO Tim Cook said helping the FBI get into the shooter's phone could set a precedent that "threatens everyone's civil liberties" and he called on the government to withdraw its request. The FBI eventually accessed information inside the phone with help from an outside group, per the Washington Post.

"We will get into that phone," Christopher Combs of the FBI said Tuesday, referring to the Texas shooting investigation.

Go deeper: Full coverage of the shooting and its aftermath

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dave Lawler, author of World
6 hours ago - World

Alexey Navalny detained after landing back in Moscow

Navalny and his wife shortly before he was detained. Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny was detained upon his return to Moscow on Sunday, which came five months after he was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok. He returned despite being warned that he would be arrested.

The latest: Navalny was stopped at a customs checkpoint and led away alone by officers. He appeared to hug his wife goodbye, and his spokesman reports that his lawyer was not allowed to accompany him.

Mike Allen, author of AM
8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's "overwhelming force" doctrine

President-elect Biden arrives to introduce his science team in Wilmington yesterday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President-elect Biden has ordered up a shock-and-awe campaign for his first days in office to signal, as dramatically as possible, the radical shift coming to America and global affairs, his advisers tell us. 

The plan, Part 1 ... Biden, as detailed in a "First Ten Days" memo from incoming chief of staff Ron Klain, plans to unleash executive orders, federal powers and speeches to shift to a stark, national plan for "100 million shots" in three months.