The head of the FBI said Wednesday that the government had “purchased a tool” enabling investigators to access an iPhone belonging to San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook.

The disclosure by James Comey in a speech at Ohio’s Kenyon College was a departure from previous official statements, which had been vague in explaining the details of how the government broke into the phone last month.

The Justice Department had only said that a third party had “demonstrated” an alternate method of unlocking the device to the FBI the evening before federal prosecutors filed a motion to delay a court hearing on the matter.

“The people that we bought this [tool] from – I know a fair amount about them and I have a high degree of confidence that they are very good at protecting it, and their motivations align with ours,” Comey said during a question-and-answer period following his talk.