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After three months of trying to learn what brought down TWA Flight 800, the FBI is considering a cash reward for anyone who helps solve the mystery.

But FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom cautioned that it would be unusual to offer a reward without knowing whether the explosion was a criminal act.

The chance of finding an answer seemed remote as representatives of the Navy and the National Transportation Safety Board said it would be weeks before all the wreckage could be recovered. Safety Board Vice Chairman Robert Francis said the final step would likely be a dredging operation in which a net will be dragged across the ocean floor slightly beneath the surface to pick up any remaining objects.

The plane exploded in midair July 17 off the coast of Long Island. All 230 aboard the Paris-bound flight were killed in an explosion that investigators believe was caused by a bomb, a missile or a mechanical malfunction.

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