Audio from inside the cockpit indicates co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, a 27-year-old German citizen, was in control of the Airbus A320. That's according to Brice Robin, public prosecutor of Marseille, who spoke at a news conference Thursday.
"The intention was to destroy the plane," Robin said.
Here's a breakdown of what we know about Flight 9525's last moments, based on information released by authorities:
At 10:30 a.m., the plane is flying at 38,000 feet.
At some point around this time, the pilot is heard asking the co-pilot to take over the controls. A chair is heard moving and a door is heard closing.
At 10:31 a.m., the plane starts losing altitude.
The co-pilot is alone at the controls, and the accelerated descent is made manually. The pilot is heard knocking on the door and asking over the speaker to enter the cockpit. There is no response from the co-pilot.
The plane’s altitude drops down to roughly 6,000 feet.
Air traffic control can be heard calling, but there is no response. The pilot is heard “violently” banging on the door, as he tries to get back into the cockpit, according to Robin. The co-pilot is heard breathing until the final moment of impact, leading officials to believe he was alive until the crash.
At 10:40 a.m., the plane crashes, and the radar contact is lost.
Editor’s note: A French prosecutor initially said Lubitz was 28 years old but a law enforcement official later determined that he was 27.