Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin has denied raids on the ABC and a News Corp journalist's home were designed to pressure the media.
The national broadcaster's Sydney headquarters and the Canberra home of Annika Smethurst, the national politics editor for News Corp's Sunday papers were raided last month over leaked documents.
But Mr Colvin said he was comfortable his officers were enforcing laws passed through parliament.
"I don't believe this was intimidation. I don't believe that's what we were attempting to do," he told the ABC's 7.30 on Tuesday.
"We needed to elicit evidence to further our investigation."
It's since been revealed the AFP sought travel records of ABC journalist Dan Oakes, along with his fingerprints and those of his colleague Sam Clark, as part of an investigation into a series of reports called the Afghan Files.
In 2017, the ABC reported on allegedly unlawful killings carried out by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.
"There has been material come out in recent days about other parts of this investigation, that is just part of a normal investigative process," Mr Colvin said.
He confirmed all three journalists involved were still the subject of ongoing investigations, which have been put on hold after the media organisations launched court action.
The raids happened weeks after the May federal election, raising questions about political interference.
But Mr Colvin rejected those claims, along with any suggestion the raids were carried out on consecutive days to intimidate.
"It was purely a resource question for us when we had the right skill set available," he said.
Mr Colvin said his decision to leave the job in September was not related to the heavy scrutiny the AFP has been under over the issue.
He said there needed to be a balance between the ability for people to come forward with information, media freedom and the law.
"Of course I absolutely support press freedom as part of democracy, as a commissioner and a general citizen," Mr Colvin said.
"But we also need to do our job, which is to enforce the laws that the parliament has seen fit to pass."
Australian Associated Press