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The House went into recess just about the time the alert was issued. The Senate remained in session for a while afterward but eventually went into recess.

At 3 p.m., police lifted the restrictions with a message to staffers: The incident has concluded. It is now safe to resume normal activities.”

The White House also briefly went on lockdown, and the pedestrian area on Pennsylvania Avenue was closed for a short time.

The White House said President Obama was briefed on the incident.

Tom Howell Jr., Ben Wolfgang, Jeffrey Anderson and Stephen Dinan contributed to this report.