A small drone crashed on the White House grounds early Monday, raising new concerns about security in the wake of several high-profile security breaches in recent months.
A Secret Service officer saw the “quad copter” device at about 3:08 am (0808 GMT) flying at a low altitude before crashing into on the south-east side of the complex, the Secret Service said in a statement.
The White House was placed in lockdown while agents examined and then cleared the device, a spokesman said.
The Secret Service was investigating the origin of the drone as well as working to determine a possible motive and suspects.
The quad copter is a small drone that flies with four rotors and is sold for commercial uses.
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were in India when the incident happened, but their young daughters were at home.
The incident comes amid increased sensitivity about White House security after an armed intruder jumped the fence and made it inside the White House and through two rooms with a knife in September.
Secret Service director Julie Pierson resigned in October after the security breach at the fence and a series of other problems.