The White House said Tuesday that the US intelligence community’s main explanation for the three most recent unidentified objects shot down in North America is that they were being used for commercial or benign purposes.

That was the message National Security Council spokesman John Kirby delivered to reporters on Tuesday, saying the assessment is based on what the United States now knows from visual images of the objects.

By the end of the week, the interagency team that President Joe Biden ordered his national security team to coordinate on Monday will set the parameters for how the United States will deal with these objects going forward, Kirby said.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said during a separate news conference Tuesday with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in Brussels that no debris from any of the objects downed in the past week has been recovered. Milley also revealed that while aiming at the object shot down Sunday over Lake Huron, the first US missile missed.

«The first balloon, the Chinese spy balloon that went down over the Atlantic, off the coast of South Carolina, that shot hit,» Milley said of the balloon’s downing on February 4. «The second, over Alaska, on the north coast of Alaska, that hit. The third that landed in the Yukon, that hit. On the fourth over Lake Huron, the first shot missed, the second shot hit.»

Milley said the first missile to miss the fourth object on Sunday «landed harmlessly in the water of Lake Huron» and was tracked by the US military on its way down. He stressed that officials ensured that the airspace was free of commercial or civil aviation traffic.

Mille said debris from those three objects has not been recovered due to rocky terrain and other difficult conditions.

“Two, three and four have not yet been recovered. They are on very difficult ground,” Milley said. «The second is off the coast of Alaska, which is in very, very difficult terrain in the Arctic Circle, with temperatures very, very low in the minus 40s. The second is in the Canadian Rockies and the Yukon Very hard to get that one and the third one are in Lake Huron, probably a couple 100 feet down, so we’ll get them eventually, but it’s going to take some time to get them back.»

Senior Pentagon officials and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence also provided a classified briefing on the objects to all senators on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning.