The LAPD said in a statement Saturday that the department has apologized for releasing a coroner's report on Christopher Wallace's death before speaking with the hip hop star's family.
Wallace, also known as Biggie Smalls, was shot and killed after leaving a music industry event in March 1997.
The detectives had intended to notify the rapper's family, but the report was released prematurely "due to an administrative error," the department said in a statement.
"Our detectives personally spoke with the Wallace family last night, and apologized for not notifying them prior to the release," said LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes, commanding officer of Robbery-Homicide Division.
"Obviously this has been a challenging case for us to solve. We hope that witnesses or other people with information will come forward and give us the clues we need to solve this case."
Police said "the decision to release the autopsy report was done as an investigative tool, in the hopes that releasing the report would stimulate additional interest or bring forth witnesses or clues in the case."
The AP points out the 23-page report revealed the FBI looked into whether any Los Angeles police officers were involved in Wallace's shooting.