Terrifying New Twist in the Germanwings French Alps Crash Investigation

Investigators said co-pilot intended to destroy the plane and crash was intentional.
3:28 | 03/26/15

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Transcript for Terrifying New Twist in the Germanwings French Alps Crash Investigation
Good evening. And we begin tonight with the stunning new developments in that crash in the alps. Three Americans among the dead. Investigators now making it clear tonight that that young co-pilot had every intention to destroy that plane. A young man who learned how to fly in Germany and right here in the United States, in Phoenix. This image of him with the golden gate bridge behind him. And tonight, on the black box, authorities say you can hear the captain locked out, first knocking, then banging on the door. As that jet was deskecending fast. New images from the crash site. You can see the investigators wearing harnesses to navigate the difficult terrain. We do have team coverage tonight, beginning with the minute by minute, what the cockpit voice recorder now reveals, as the captain slowly realizes he's been locked out. ABC's David Kerley, who covers aviation for us, leading us off. Reporter: Tonight, the first pictures coming in right now from the ground. Searchers looking for remains, bagging evidence of this apparent horrible act of evil. A tragic end to what was supposed to be a Normal flight. A 10:00 A.M. Takeoff from Barcelona. Everything seems Normal. The cockpit voice recorder showing a friendly conversation between the two pilots. But then, the co-pilot, 27 Andreas lubitz, is less jovial, his answers short. 30 minutes into the flight, the jet hit cruising altitude. 38,000 feet. The captain asks the co-pilot to take over, presumably to use the bathroom, and he leaves the cockpit, starting the ten minutes of terror. Once alone, with the door locked, flight tracking data shows that the co-pilot changes the auto pilot, sending the jetliner down toward the alps. Outside the cockpit, the captain feels the plane descending. He can be heard on the recording knocking on the door. No answer. He starts banging as if trying to break down the door. Silence from the co-pilot. But on the recording, lubitz can be heard, breathing normally. Seconds tick by. The jet dropping more than 3,000 feet a minute, closing in on the mountains in plain view of the passengers. They are heard on the recording too, screaming in the final seconds before the crash. Our hamish Macdonald is in the French alps. Reporter: The French prosecutor says everyone on board this flight died on impact when it smashed into the mountainside. And now recovery teams are scouring the far side of this top ridge line, looking for every piece of debris and every possible clue. Reporter: Human remains air lifted from the scene. Crews still searching for the other black box, which will provide more details about what was happening in that cockpit. What a French prosecutor today called a voluntary act to destroy the plane. An event, a scene, with still many unanswered questions, including the most important -- why? And David Kerley is with us now. It would seem the most chilling clue of all, the co-pilot and that steady breathing they could hear inside the cockpit. Reporter: Steady and Normal. The French prosecutor and the executives of the airline say that's the evidence they say proves he was at the controls. Now, they may have other things off the cockpit voice recorder we haven't heard, but they believe he was controlling the aircraft. All right, David Kerley, thank you. This evening, we are seeing for the first time images of all three American victims. The young college grad, Emily Selke and her mother, Yvonne. And this young man, Robert oliver, a U.S. Citizen who had been living in Spain. Just three of the faces lost.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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