The Los Angeles Police Department apologized Saturday to the family of slain rapper Christopher "Notorious B.I.G" Wallace for an "administrative error" that led to the early release of his autopsy, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Wallace's autopsy was released Friday, almost 16 years after his unsolved March 1997 murder, but neglected to alert his family beforehand.

"Due to an administrative error, the autopsy report was released prematurely," the department said in a statement. "Robbery-Homicide Division detectives had intended to notify Mr. Wallace's family prior to releasing the report."

The department said it hoped the release of its findings would spur more interest in the case. Robbery-Homicide division investigator Captain Billy Hayes said detectives on the case apologized to the family in person not long after the autopsy was made public.

"Obviously this has been a challenging case for us to solve," Hayes said. "We hope that witnesses or other people with information will come forward and give us the clues we need to solve this case."

The 23-page report revealed that Wallace was shot four times while sitting inside a sport utility vehicle on Wilshire Boulevard, with the fatal shot hitting his colon, liver, heart and part of his lung after entering his body through his right hip. He was also shot in the back, thigh and forearm. A toxicology report showed Wallace did not have any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death.