Chinese authorities say they've ended the search for the remaining missing in a massive chemical warehouse explosion last month. The move sets the final death toll at 173 in China's worst industrial disaster in years.

The announcement on the Tianjin city government's microblog says there is no hope of finding eight persons still unaccounted for. It says the court is now starting the process of issuing death certificates.

The eight include five firefighters, underscoring the explosion's status as the worst ever disaster for Chinese first responders, more than 100 of whom were killed.

Investigations into the Aug. 12 blasts at the Ruihai International Logistics warehouses showed they located closer to homes than permitted, and stored much more hazardous material than authorized, including 700 tons of highly toxic sodium cyanide.