FBI Director James Comey on Monday declined to tell reporters whether the Orlando shooter’s communications were encrypted, but reports indicate that he likely used an Android device — not an iPhone.

{mosads}Since very few Android devices boast stiff encryption, should those reports be confirmed, investigators would likely be able to access the contents of gunman Omar Mateen’s device without technical assistance from the manufacturer.

Comey said Monday that investigators know the make of the phone but that he could not reveal it.

A series of selfies taken by the shooter show him using a Samsung device. CBS News reported Monday that he used a Samsung. Samsung devices almost exclusively run the Android operating system.

Google, which makes Android, has publicly supported strong encryption. But it has yet to make it the default on the thousands of different devices — made by hundreds of manufacturers — that run Android.

Experts estimate that of the 1.4 billion phones running Android, fewer than 10 percent are encrypted, according to The Wall Street Journal.

By comparison, 95 percent of iPhones are.

Google is pushing to expand encryption across devices that run the operating system. The latest version of Android, dubbed Marshmallow, requires manufacturers to encrypt higher-end phones.

Following last year’s deadly shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., which killed 14, investigators attempted to force Apple to unlock the iPhone 5c shooter Syed Rizwan Farook used for work.

Apple refused on the grounds that the technical assistance the FBI requested would have undermined the security of its flagship product.

The FBI ultimately withdrew its case when it purchased a “tool” from a third party that allowed it to hack into Farook’s device without Apple’s assistance.

Julian Hattem contributed.


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