In Pennsylvania, the police can obtain information from non-law enforcement sources and use that information as a basis to obtain a search warrant for a particular place. This information from non-law enforcement sources falls into 2 categories: 1. confidential informants or other people who are known to the police and 2. anonymous informants. it is this second category that Pennsylvania courts treat with extreme skepticism.
The general rule regarding search warrants is that police officer applying for the warrant must provide sufficient information to demonstrate to the magistrate that there is probable cause to believe that particular evidence will be found at a particular location. As stated, information a police officer obtains from a non-law enforcement source may be used in the application for a warrant. However, if the application for the warrant is entirely based on information obtained from a non-law enforcement anonymous source, the Court is likely to either deny the application for the search warrant or suppress evidence seized as a result of the search warrant.