French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to reconstruct the historic building — Notre Dame — even as the fire still burned, while a number of companies and business tycoons have so far pledged about €600m ($677m; £519m) between them to rebuild Notre-Dame after the fire partially destroyed the French cathedral.
Paris public prosecutor Rémy Heitz said his office was “favouring the theory of an accident”, but had assigned 50 people to work on what he believed would be a “long” and “complex” investigation.
A major symbol of the Catholic faith, the cathedral contains revered relics, including the crown of thorns said to have been worn by Jesus before the Crucifixion.
The French prime minister, Edouard Philippe, has also announced an international architecture competition to rebuild the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral.
The fire, declared fully extinguished some 15 hours after it began, ravaged the 850-year-old building’s roof and caused its spire to collapse. The spire’s bronze rooster, long a symbol of France, was found on Tuesday, deformed by the heat but recognisable nonetheless.
The blaze was discovered at 18:43 (16:43 GMT), and firefighters were called. The flames quickly reached the roof of the cathedral, destroying the wooden interior before toppling the spire.
Firefighters worked through the night and managed to save the Paris landmark’s main stone structure, including its two towers. Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire, interviewing security staff and workers on a restoration project, but have not been able to enter the building as it remains unsafe.