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(NBC News) -- Data was deleted from a flight simulator found at the home of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet's pilot, an official said Wednesday.

"Forensic work to retrieve this data is ongoing," Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia's acting transport minister, told a news conference. He added that local and international experts had been recruited to examine the homemade device belonging to Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the 53-year-old captain of the Boeing 777.

It was not immediately clear who deleted the files and why.

"The passengers, the pilots and the crew remain innocent until proven otherwise," Hishammuddin added. "For the sake of their families I ask that we refrain from any unnecessary speculation that will make their lives harder."

Police Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar added that "the data of the games has been cleared on February 3" and that "experts are looking at the logs." Flight 370 vanished while traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

The daily news conference descended into chaos before they spoke, when distressed protesters were removed by officials.

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