solved the puzzle with some help from a paper on the subject..... the target is this

000..

00.0.

0.0.0

.0.00

..000

below is one possible predecessor configuration, given by deleting a column and rearranging the remaining columns according to a specific permutation. thats an approach i didnt think of at all but someone else figured it out so i dont have to

0..0.

...00

0.0..

..000

0.0.0

now that i understand the method from that paper, this gives a new class of puzzles i know how to solve..... will have to search for more puzzles that these techniques cannot do