The final death toll from the Grenfell Tower fire may not be known until next year, police have said.

The current number of fatalities has risen to 80 with the vast majority of those killed said to have lived in 23 of the west London tower's 129 flats.

Police have identified and spoken to at least one person from each of the other flats.

Detective Superintendent Fiona McCormack, of the Met Police, said the full death toll of the 14 June blaze will only be known when the search and recovery operation is over.

"We are many months from being able to provide a number which we believe accurately represents the total loss of life inside Grenfell Tower," she said on Wednesday (28 June).

"Only after we have completed a search and recovery operation, which will take until the end of the year.

"What I can say is that we believe that around 80 people are either dead or sadly missing and I must presume that they are dead."

When pressed on the likely date for a final figure, Det Supt McCormack said a final figure would likely not be available until 2018.

She added: "I don't want there to be any hidden victims. We want to understand the true human cost of this tragedy."

The fire began when a faulty fridge-freezer caught alight on the fourth floor of the north Kensington tower in the early hours of 14 June.

Police said as the blaze rapidly spread to other floors, some residents tried to move up the building to escape the flames.

It is thought a number of people may have ended up trapped in one flat.

Det Supt McCormack said there was "utter devastation" inside the flats and that officers were preparing some families for the reality that their relatives' remains may never be recovered.

Fire officials said panels affixed to the building's exterior helped the blaze shoot up the 24-story building.

Earlier Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities have tested 120 other high-rise buildings in dozens of areas across Britain and found that all were fitted with external cladding panels that failed fire safety tests.

The tragedy has raised serious questions over building regulation and fire safety, with police saying a criminal probe into the tragedy had identified 60 firms involved in the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.