Tamarin operates in the symbolic model and thus can only capture attacks within that model, and given a certain equational theory. Currently, apart from the builtins, only subterm-convergent theories are supported. The underlying verification problems are undecidable in general, so Tamarin is not guaranteed to terminate.

In contrast to the trace mode, which is sound and complete, the observational equivalence mode currently only (soundly) approximates observational equivalence by requiring a strict one-to-one mapping between rules, which is too strict for some applications. Moreover, the support of restrictions in this mode is rather limited.