The Air France jetliner that plunged into the Atlantic Ocean after it disappeared from radar fell out of the sky and did not break up in flight as initially suspected, according to French investigators.
French investigators said the plane was intact when it hit the water and that life vests fished out of the ocean were not inflated.
The plane transmitted a flurry of automated messages in its final moments but rescuers were unable to use the signals to trace the location of the jet's flight data recorders.
The French air accident investigation agency, the BEA, said ti would extend the search for the plane's black boxes until July 10.
Families of the victims met with BEA and Air France officials before the meeting.
"The families are hoping to have all the facts, above all to be able to avoid this eventually happening again," head of the association for the flight's crash victims, Christophe Guillot-Noel. "We have just one demand: transparency. We have just one expectiation: the truth."
The findings were based on the automated messages and clues left in the wreckage. The remains of 51 people, including the pilot, have been recovered.