Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 left Jakarta with 62 people on board, but vanished from the radar on its way to Borneo island on Saturday.
Search teams have found aircraft parts and human remains and believe they know where the black boxes are located.
The first victim has been identified.
Okky Bisma, a 29-year-old flight attendant on the plane, was identified by his fingerprints, officials said late on Monday.
One official stressed the urgency of the search mission calling it a "24-hour" operation.
"It's going to be an around-the-clock operation," Rasman MS, head of the search and rescue agency's crash operations told reporters.
"There will be no breaks. The sooner we can find the victims, the better."
According to news wire AFP, some 2,600 personnel are currently involved in the search operation along with more than 50 ships and 13 aircraft. Divers have been recovering body parts, wreckage and passengers' clothing from waters about 23 metres (75ft) deep.
There appears to be no hope of finding any survivors.
Navy chief of staff Yudo Margono said the search team had pinpointed the location of the black box cockpit voice and flight data recorders and a remote-controlled vehicle was being used to scan the sea bed.
"There is so much debris down there and we have only lifted a few pieces. Hopefully, as we take out more [the recorders] can be found," he told reporters.
The fact the debris does not appear to have spread far suggests the plane may have been intact before it hit the water, an investigator with Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) told news agency Reuters.
"It possibly ruptured when it hit waters because if it had exploded mid-air, the debris would be distributed more widely," said Nurcahyo Utomo.
Investigators are already analysing items which they believe to be a wheel and part of the plane's fuselage. A turbine from one of its engines is also among the debris that has been recovered.