The flight crew on the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed last month performed all procedures from Boeing but could not control the jet, according to a preliminary report.
Ethiopia's transport minister Dagmawit Moges made the announcement at a press conference citing data from the doomed plane's recorders.
The Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed on March 10 shortly after take-off from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board.
It was the second crash of a 737 Max within five months, following a Lion Air crash in Indonesia.
Following the Ethiopian disaster, Max jets have been grounded worldwide pending a software fix that Boeing is rolling out, which must still receive approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators.