Australian investigators at the crash zone of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 hope to use a window of just seven to 10 days to recover human remains and belongings - but there is no plan yet to begin investigating who shot down the Boeing 777 carrying 298 people.
A team of 80 Dutch and Australian police officers are confident they will be able to reach the wreckage zone for a second straight day on Saturday after a fortnight of frustration ended on Friday.
In an update in Canberra on Saturday, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Andrew Colvin appeared to wind back the objectives of the mission, saying it could be a week before the international team wraps up its job.
He said AFP officers were only focused on retrieving remains. "An investigation will flow at a later point," he said.
Less than a week ago, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the investigation force could be at the site for up to two or three weeks.
Deputy Commissioner Colvin said the initial team of 80 spent a "continuous" five hours at the scene and recovered victim remains and personal possessions of the dead passengers of MH17, believed to have been shot from the sky by a missile on July 17.
"Possessions are important to the family members," he said.
Remains and items recovered will be taken to the Ukrainian city of Kharkhiv for repatriation to Holland and eventually repatriation around the world.
Deputy Commissioner Colvin said there was no intention at this stage to sift wreckage to ascertain what took the Boeing 777 out of the sky over eastern Ukraine and who is responsible.
But later on Saturday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott suggested some forensic work would take place.
"Remains and possessions often have an evidentiary value in a circumstance like this. But there will be a whole range of investigators on site, including forensic investigators, and there is a forensic team that is now assembling evidence and in good time we'll no doubt have more to say," he said.
"It is important to bring the perpetrators to justice. This is an infamous crime, it's an unspeakable evil that has been done here and it's very important that we do whatever we humanly can to obtain justice for the dead and their loved ones."
Ongoing access to the crash site hinges on a deal with separatists in eastern Ukraine that the investigation team remain unarmed.
It has become clear that Russian-backed rebels are behind the no guns agreement.
Deputy Commissioner said the Ukrainian government in Kiev had agreed to allow Australian police to carry guns but he stressed the operation would remain an "unarmed humanitarian mission".
It was Deputy Commissioner Colvin who said last week he was "not comfortable" with sending his officers to the wreckage site battles between Ukrainian government forces and rebels continuing to rage in the area. He later said he had been convinced that it would be safe.
"We have absolutely no intention of taking firearms, concealed or otherwise to the site," he said on Saturday
"I'm aware the Ukrainian government have endorsed an agreement to allow the AFP to carry firearms to the wreckage site.
"Let me be clear. The AFP presence on the wreckage site and our ability to achieve the mission to bring them home is contingent upon a permissive environment. The AFP has not and will not carry firearms to the wreckage site either concealed or otherwise."
He said the agreement for Australian to carry guns in the Ukraine was part of "contingency planning".