tpl and data configurations go together. There is no automagic data binding that happens here. Each time you want to update the data you can call setData.
It sounds like what you are really looking for is a DataView. A DataView binds a store with an itemTpl for each record. The DataView is configured with an itemSelector which tells it how to map the record to a DOM node and vice versa. http://docs.sencha.com/touch/2-1/#!/...aview.DataView