gpg: Can't check signature: public key not found

I downloaded FreeRADIUS source to install on SuSe Linux 10.1. From the download links, I can download the source "freeradius-server-2.1.1.tar.gz" and PGP signature file "freeradius-server-2.1.1.tar.gz.sig". I read some comments from EE experts but I still don't have clear idea on what benefit it needs to verify the source file with the provided sig file.

1. Why don't we just extract the source and start installation? What happens if I do not verify the signature file with the source?
2. Can gpg be used to verify the source package with PGP signature file? While pgp command also exists.
3. When I verify it with the following command:
    gpg --verify freeradius-server-2.1.1.tar.gz.sig freeradius-server-2.1.1.tar.gz
    The system complains with the below output:
    gpg: Signature made Thu Sep 25 15:42:35 2008 ICT using RSA key ID E402497D
    gpg: Can't check signature: public key not found

4. I download the package from http://freeradius.org, how to obtain the public key and solve this complaint?




linux-dell:/usr/src/packages/SOURCES # gpg --verify freeradius-server-2.1.1.tar.gz.sig freeradius-server-2.1.1.tar.gz
gpg: Signature made Thu Sep 25 15:42:35 2008 ICT using RSA key ID E402497D
gpg: Can't check signature: public key not found

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tballahAsked:
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kyleb84Commented:
1. Why don't we just extract the source and start installation? What happens if I do not verify the signature file with the source?

Verifying the source code guarantees that you have the original source tree package and that it hasn't been alters in any way - similar to a CRC checksum.

If you have downloaded it from the official development website - or another trusted source (like SuSE repo's) - it isn't particularly required, and is only there to provide peace of mind.

I personally, have never used this feature.
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tballahAuthor Commented:
Alright, let close it as there is no complete answers to my questions. Thank kyleb84 for his response answer.
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