Apple ordered to help FBI unlock phone belonging to San Bernardino shooter

A federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI access encrypted data hidden on a cellphone that belonged to the terrorist couple who killed 14 people in San Bernardino last year, according to a three-page decision handed down Tuesday.

The federal investigation into the terror attack has been largely focused on determining the couple’s movements between the time of the attack at the Inland Regional Center the morning of Dec. 2 and their deaths in a wild firefight with police hours later. Last month, the FBI released a detailed timeline of their actions after the shooting, but the agency asked for the public’s help in filling in an 18-minute blind spot.

The court order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym in Riverside directs Apple to help the FBI recover the phone’s passcode and get around any auto-erase functions the device might employ.