The Transport Safety Board said in a report that the battery of the aircraft's auxiliary power unit was incorrectly connected to the main battery that overheated, although a protective valve would have prevented power from the APU from doing damage.
Flickering of the plane's tail and wing lights after it landed and the fact the main battery was switched off led the investigators to conclude there was an abnormal current traveling from the APU due to miswiring.
The agency said that more analysis was needed to determine what caused the main battery to overheat and emit the smoke that prompted the Jan. 16 emergency landing of the ANA domestic flight and the worldwide grounding of Boeing 787 jets. They said they are consulting Boeing about the issue.
The Federal Aviation Administration and aviation authorities in other countries grounded 787 fleets because of the ANA incident which followed a battery fire earlier in January in a 787 parked in Boston.
As CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reported earlier this month, federal investigators revealed the fire aboard the 787 in Boston began with a short circuit in one of the lithium ion battery's eight cells.
That caused a dangerous condition known as "thermal runaway," where a short spreads to other cells in an uncontrolled chemical chain reaction, Attkisson reports. The fire topped 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
It's something Boeing's development studies didn't predict.
The 787, dubbed the Dreamliner by Boeing, is the first airliner to make extensive use of lithium ion batteries, which are lighter weight, charge faster and contain more energy than conventional batteries similar in size. However, the batteries also are more prone to overheating and catching fire.