Apple's Showdown With DOJ Postponed Amid Possible New Way to Unlock Phone

VIDEO: FBI Delays Apple Court
WATCH FBI Delays Apple Court Hearing

The Department of Justice has delayed its court battle against Apple after it says it may have discovered a new way to unlock the iPhone belonging to San Bernardino terror suspect Syed Farook, according to officials and documents.

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The DOJ said that on March 20, "an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method for unlocking Farook’s iPhone," according to an affidavit attached to the government's application for a continuance.

"Testing is required to determine whether it is a viable method that will not compromise data on Farook’s iPhone," the documents say. "If the method is viable, it should eliminate the need for the assistance from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) set forth in the All Writs Act Order in this case."

The government has asked Apple to write a special piece of software that would allow investigators to unlock Farook's phone.

Apple confirmed that the hearing was postponed.

The DOJ said that it was "cautiously optimistic" that the new method wouldn't destroy data on the phone, according to spokeswoman Melanie Newman.

"If this solution works, it will allow us to search the phone and continue our investigation into the terrorist attack that killed 14 people and wounded 22 people," she said.

This is a developing story. Please check back in for updates.