Asked what the chances were of finding the culprit, the official said that “it’s gonna be very difficult for us to do that because of where it was.”

“Even if there were surveillance cameras, unless you were waving it around, it may not have been caught” by the cameras, added the official, who spoke on conditions of anonymity given that it’s an ongoing investigation. “It’s a bit of a thoroughfare. People walk there all the time.”

During her Wednesday briefing, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed POLITICO’s reporting that the cocaine was found in an area heavily traveled by staff and visitors. She also emphasized that President Joe Biden and his family left Washington on Friday and returned Tuesday, in time for the White House’s annual Fourth of July celebration.

Jean-Pierre declined to offer more details to reporters with additional questions about the situation and deferred to the Secret Service, who is leading the investigation with FBI assistance, for further comment.

“Let’s let the Secret Service do their job, which we believe and have all the confidence that they will get to the bottom of this episode,” Jean-Pierre said.

A uniformed division officer of the Secret Service found the cocaine on Sunday night around 6 pm. Since the officer didn’t know what the substance was, the security posture at the White House was temporarily escalated. The DC Fire Department was called, and the material was deemed nonhazardous and sent to a central lab for additional testing.

Andrew Zhang contributed to this report.

By zonxe