Federal authorities have claimed that they may have found another way into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, without Apple compromising its security systems.
According to the Guardian, the development comes as a major build-up to the two-year battle over digital privacy between the US government and Silicon Valley.
On Monday evening, US magistrate judge Sheri Pym stayed her previous order that Apple help the government crack the passcode on the iPhone used by San Bernardino gunman Syed Farook.
The justice department said in its filing that it might have a different way to break into the device - something that cryptographers, leading data security experts and even Edward Snowden have said was possible without placing the cybersecurity of all iPhone users at risk through creating what Apple derisively calls "GovtOS".
Nevertheless, the government has firmly maintained that Apple alone had the technical ability to get inside the device.