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FBI says it might be able to break into seized iPhone, wants hearing vacated

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Monday that it might be able to break into the seized iPhone at the center of an encryption battle with Apple. That is why it wants a federal judge overseeing the litigation to vacate Tuesday's hearing on whether Apple should assist the authorities in bypassing the passcode on the iPhone used by San Bernardino terrorist Sayed Farook, according to court documents filed Monday.

"On Sunday, March 20, 2016, an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone. Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone," the government said.

US Magistrate Sheri Pym has not ruled on the government's motion. "We are waiting for the court to rule on the motion," said Thom Mrozek, a Justice Department spokesman in Los Angeles. The government said in its filing that following the seizure of the iPhone in December, "the FBI did not cease its efforts after this litigation began."