Nearly 16 years after the deadly 9/11 terrorist attack, the remains of a man killed at the World Trade Center have been identified.

According to the Medical Examiner’s office, the victim’s name will not be released at his family’s request. However, a source stated that the man was not a police officer, firefighter or another first responder.

This is the first new identification of a 9/11 victim since March 2015. The remains of 1,112 – 40 percent of the victims – have yet to be identified.

As DNA analysis becomes more advanced, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson hopes to bring closure to more long-suffering families.

“Since the immediate days following the World Trade Center disaster in 2001, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner has worked to identify the victims, and we will continue to uphold this commitment using the most advanced scientific methods available,” she says.

Few full bodies were recovered from the attack, during which radical Islamists crashed two jetliners into the Twin Towers. The crash ignited an inferno and caused the buildings to collapse, ultimately killing 2,753 people.

Due to the effects of heat, bacteria, and chemicals, it has been very difficult for medical examiners to analyze the remains.

The office currently uses DNA testing and other methods to match more than 21,900 bone fragments to individual victims. It also pulverizes the fragments to extract DNA and compares it to the office’s collection of genetic material from victims or their relatives.

Fortunately, more sensitive DNA technology was adopted earlier this year, helping Sampson and her colleagues to make the latest identification.

“This is the natural outgrowth of always making improvements and retesting the remains,” says Julie Bolcer, a spokeswoman for the office.

While testing is performed at the ME’s DNA lab in Kips Bay, the unidentified remains are stored at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. After the remains are identified, the victim’s family decides where their loved one should be laid to rest.

“Some identified remains are stored at the memorial as well. It depends on what the family wants to do,” Bolcer says.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons