US: Probable cause that locked phone has evidence of attack

This undated combination of file photos provided by the FBI, left, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook. (FBI, left, and California Department of Motor Vehicles via AP, File)

The Justice Department says there's "probable cause" that a locked iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino killers contains evidence of the eventual attack.

Federal prosecutors say in a new court filing Thursday that the government and the community need access to the phone, and say Apple Inc. must comply with a court order to make the device available.

The response from the government sets the stage for a March 22 hearing at which lawyers for Apple and the Justice Department will argue their case before a federal magistrate.

Officials are looking for access to the phone used by Syed Farook but owned by San Bernardino County, where he was a health inspector. Federal investigators say the attack by Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, was at least partly inspired by the Islamic State group. The couple died later in a gun battle with police.

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