British police said that search teams have found over 400 items as part of the investigation into the poisoning of two Britons by the nerve agent Novichok — but searches will likely take many more weeks as officers seek further evidence.

Metropolitan Police announced a breakthrough in the case yesterday when they said they had found a small bottle believed to be the source of the nerve agent that killed Dawn Sturgess and made Charlie Rowley ill.

The bottle was found at Rowley's home in Amesbury, a southwestern town not far from Salisbury, where British authorities say Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned with Novichok in March.

Britain blames the Russian Government for the March attack, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.

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Police are trying to figure out whether the substance in the bottle — confirmed by scientists as Novichok — came from the same batch used in the attack against the Skripals.

They're also looking into where the bottle came from and how it got into Rowley's house.

The force said, in total, search teams recovered over 400 "exhibits, samples and items" linked to the investigation into the poisoning of Sturgess and Rowley.

It said a "significant number" of the items are potentially contaminated and have been sent to laboratories for analysis.

- AP