In the end, the FBI didn’t need Apple’s help to extract information from a dead terrorist’s iPhone. Hackers, the FBI says, did the government’s work for it.

On Monday, the Justice Department asked a judge in California to put aside a search warrant compelling Apple to assist law enforcement in obtaining information from the phone used by dead San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook. The reason: Apple’s help was no longer required.

That’s because tech companies and researchers around the world beat a path to the bureau’s door. Let us find a way into that phone that Apple won’t help you crack, they said.

You won’t find that version of events spelled out quite so bluntly in any court documents. But it’s essentially what FBI Director James Comey told reporters last week in Washington.

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