WASHINGTON — (TNS) The United States has started to recover some parts from the Chinese balloon that an American F-22 fighter jet shot down off the coast of South Carolina, as Biden administration officials said the U.S. was still trying to figure out how much senior leaders in Beijing knew about the alleged spy mission.

Debris from the balloon and its payload scattered over a patch of Atlantic Ocean measuring about 4,900 feet by 4,900 feet, and the U.S. is surveying the site as it works to retrieve the wreckage, said Gen. Glen VanHerck, head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. He told a briefing Monday that one concern for the recovery teams was whether the equipment carried explosives or other hazardous materials.