SAN ANTONIO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A federal judge says he’ll rule soon on whether to dismiss claims filed in several lawsuits against the U.S. Air Force in connection with a 2017 massacre at a Texas church that killed more than two dozen people.

Relatives of those killed or injured at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs sued, arguing that the federal government was negligent by failing to report gunman Devin Kelley’s criminal information to a national database used to conduct background checks of gun buyers.

The Express-News reports lawyers for the Justice Department argued Tuesday in court that federal employees should be shielded from the lawsuits.

A government report released last year said the Air Force failed six times to report information that could have prevented Kelley, a New Braunfels resident and former airman, from buying a gun.

Kelley shot and killed 26 people at the church, including children, grandparents and a pregnant mother.

Sutherland Springs is about 30 miles east of San Antonio.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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