GENEVA, Switzerland -

Physicists say they are now confident they have discovered a long-sought subatomic particle known as a Higgs boson.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, says a look at all the data from 2012 shows that what they found last year was a version of what is popularly referred to as the "God particle."

CERN physicist Joe Incandela said in a statement Thursday that "it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is."

The long-theorized subatomic particle would explain why matter has mass. It is considered a missing cornerstone of physics.

Last July scientists with the world's largest atom-smasher announced finding a particle they described as Higgs-like.