(CNN) -- Wreckage has been found in the Atlantic Ocean that could have come from a missing Air France jet that disappeared Monday with 228 passengers and crew on board, Brazilian aviation officials said Tuesday.
Floating objects and seats were found 720 kilometers (447 miles) from the island of Fernando de Noronha, said Brazilian Air Force spokesman Jorge Amaral.
Fernando de Noronha is an archipelago of 21 islands around 354 kilometers (220 miles) off the northeast coast of Brazil.
It lies near the flight path the airline said the jet would have followed from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France.
The search will continue, but there is not enough material yet to officially say this is the wreckage from Flight 447, Maral said.
Brazilian, French and Senegalese rescue teams were combing vast sections of the Atlantic on Tuesday.
A report of "shiny spots" in the sea along the route of Flight 447 by a crew from the Brazilian airline TAM prompted a search in the territorial waters off Senegal, but without result.
The Airbus A330, carrying 228 people, encountered heavy turbulence early Monday, some three hours after it began the 11-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France, according to Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon.
At that point, the plane's automatic system initiated a four-minute series of messages to the company's maintenance computers, indicating that "several pieces of aircraft equipment were at fault or had broken down," he told reporters.
During that time, there was no contact with the crew, Gourgeon said.
"It was probable that it was a little bit after those messages that the impact of the plane took place in the Atlantic," he added.
The Airbus A330 was off radar and probably closer to Brazil than to Africa at the time, he said.
Two squadrons from Brazil's air force launched a search near the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha in the Atlantic Ocean, about 365 kilometers (225 miles) from Brazil's coast, an air force spokesman told CNN. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said France sent ships and planes to an area about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from Brazil. See map of suspected crash zone »
"Our Spanish friends are helping us, Brazilians are helping us a lot as well," he said.
The average depth of the Atlantic is close to 12,000 feet -- more than 2 miles.
The plane carried 216 passengers -- 126 men, 82 women, seven children and a baby -- and 12 crew members, Air France said. Of the crew, 11 were French and one was Brazilian. Video Watch latest report on missing aircraft »
An official list of victims' names was not available late Monday, but the only two Americans on board -- Michael Harris, 60, and his wife, Anne, 54 -- were identified by the couple's family and his employer.
"Anne and Mike were indeed a beautiful couple inside and out, and I miss them terribly already," said Anne Harris' sister, Mary Miley. click here for more...