Egyptian officials Thursday said searchers had recovered the cockpit voice recorder from EgyptAir Flight 804, putting investigators closer to figuring out why the plane crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last month.

A specialized vessel, the John Lethbridge belonging to Deep Ocean Search Ltd., was able to locate and recover the cockpit voice recorder, one of the plane’s black boxes. The device was damaged, but the memory unit that retains two hours of conversations from the cockpit was retrieved, Egyptian officials said.

Once the cockpit voice recorder is at a specialized facility where the information can be extracted, investigators could gather important information about what happened during the flight in a matter of days if not hours, safety experts said.

Egyptian officials said they were preparing to move the recovered memory unit from the ship to the Egyptian coastal town of Alexandria.

The flight data recorder, which stores technical parameters on the flight, hasn’t been recovered yet.

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Image courtesy of EPA