Detectives to review any evidence that comes in after conviction of Gary Dobson and David Norris
Detectives on the Stephen Lawrence murder inquiry will remain in place for at least a month before any decision is made to wind down the team.
After the conviction and jailing of two of the five original suspects for the murder, Gary Dobson and David Norris, officers will review any new evidence which might have come in. During sentencing, the trial judge, Mr Justice Treacy, urged the Metropolitan police not to close the file and said only "a measure of justice" had been done while three or four other suspects remained at large.
The names of the five original suspects came into the murder inquiry team within 48 hours of Lawrence's murder in April 1993. The other prime suspects were Neil and Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight. A potential fourth suspect has not been identified.
Over the next few weeks detectives on the team are expected to meet and reflect on what they have heard in the trial and on information that has arrived in the past few days.
In the past two days the team has received five telephone calls and will be assessing the significance of the information received.
It is understood that a decision to wind the team down would be made only when it was clear whether Dobson and Norris were going to lodge an appeal. They have 28 days to do so and might challenge either the sentencing or the verdict.
Detectives on the team are likely to push the Met to keep it together in the hope that evidence will emerge against the three other suspects.
In the next few weeks Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll and his officers will attempt to visit Dobson and Norris in prison to see if they are willing to provide information. But they will not be able to use the provisions of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act covering the use of criminals as supergrasses.
"We will work on their anger," said a police source. "They are inside while the others are free."
The commissioner of the Met police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, has warned the remaining suspects they "should not rest easily in their beds" and appealed for anyone with information on the murder to come forward. "We will do the rest," he said on Wednesday.
Hope of a breakthrough rests on a change of allegiances between friends and associates of the gang, which at the time of Stephen Lawrence's murder numbered about 11 and included Neil and Jamie Acourt, Knight, Dobson and Norris.
The extensive scientific review that led to the conviction of Dobson and Norris took four years and examined all the exhibits belonging to the Acourts and Knight with no positive results.
Dobson was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years two months and Norris to 14 years and three months. They will not be eligible for release until they have served their full minimum term.
If no significant new evidence emerges over the next month it is likely the Lawrence murder team will be wound down.
Working out of a Scotland Yard building in Putney, south-west London, the 23-strong team is funded separately from the main homicide squads. Its officers were drawn from homicide and Trident murder teams, both of which are undergoing a review.
Doreen Lawrence will meet the team investigating her son's murder to discuss any developments over the next fortnight. But she is said by sources close to her to understand that on the information now available it is likely the team will be eventually disbanded.
In an interview with the Daily Mail she said: "I'm hoping that, eventually, Dobson and Norris will give up the others; that they won't take the whole guilty vote for themselves.
"I want to get the others, but I also want a life."