Just a day after authorities suspended the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester said that future underwater search for the missing plane has not been ruled out. Chester's comments came Wednesday as families of those on board the missing Boeing 777-200 jet criticized authorities for calling off the search that had been going on for nearly three years.

"It's not a closed book by any stretch," Chester said at a news briefing in Melbourne. "I don't rule out a future underwater search," adding: "It's a question of if you have credible new information, which leads to a specific location."

Flight MH370 went missing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board while on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Authorities earlier said that the plane may have crashed in a remote part of the southern Indian Ocean.

During the news briefing Wednesday, Chester said that he was hoping that new technologies, improved analysis of data, and better equipment would lead to solving what he calls an "extraordinary aviation mystery." However, no plane debris was found in the search zone leaving the disappearance of the plane as one of the greatest aviation mysteries in modern history.

"I am hopeful we'll have a breakthrough in the future," Chester said. "It's reasonable to expect there may be more debris uncovered in the weeks and months and possibly even years ahead which could lead to further information in solving this puzzle."

Chester also said that the cost had not been the "deciding factor" in the decision to suspend the search. He stressed that there has been a "very limited amount of actual data that experts were dealing with."

"There's no question this has been a very costly exercise — in the order of 200 million Australian dollars has been spent on the underwater search effort of which 60 million dollars has been provided by the Australian government, and the Malaysian government has contributed more than anyone else in that regard," he said. "So it has been a costly exercise but it hasn't been the factor which has led to the decisions to suspend the search. We are in a position where we don't want to provide false hope to families and friends."

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday expressed "deep regret" that Flight MH370 had not been found, but reaffirmed the agreement between Malaysia, Australia and China to stop looking.

Several search vessels, with sonar equipment, scoured through the rugged terrain of the southern Indian Ocean floor in search of the missing plane. No credible clues were found in the 46,000-square-mile search zone. However, as many as 30 other pieces of wreckage were found on the island country of Mauritius, the French island Reunion, an island off Tanzania and in Mozambique. The debris pieces are currently being examined by Australian authorities.