KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's top police official warned Wednesday that authorities may never learn what caused the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370, as he indicated a three-week-old criminal investigation has so far been inconclusive.
"Give us more time," Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
"We may not even know the real cause of this incident."
The sober assessment is unlikely to go down well with anxious family members of the missing passengers, especially Chinese relatives who have fiercely attacked Malaysia's government and the airline as incompetent "liars" and "murderers".
Two thirds of the 227 passengers were Chinese.
Malaysian police have said they were investigating the backgrounds of all 239 people on board the Malaysia Airlines jet, who included 12 crew members, as well as ground crew and flight engineers.
Their criminal probe has focused on the possibility of a hijacking, sabotage or psychological problems among passengers or crew.
Khalid said police had recorded more than 170 statements so far.
"This investigation is ongoing. There are still more people we need to interview," he said, declining to provide further details while the probe was under way.