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ARLINGTON, Va. — Authorities have found the laptop containing personal data on 26.5 million veterans and current servicemembers that was stolen from a Veterans Affairs employee, the FBI announced Thursday.

An initial review of the computer equipment indicated that the personal data had not been accessed since the laptop was stolen, an FBI news release says.

On May 3, the laptop was stolen from a VA employee’s home.

“A thorough forensic examination is under way, and the results will be shared as soon as possible,” the news release says.

The release did not say where the stolen laptop was found but did say that police in Montgomery County, Md., were involved in its recovery, along with U.S. Park Police and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General.

No arrests have been made in connection with the burglary, an FBI spokesman said.

Also Thursday, the Associated Press reported that the VA official whose laptop was stolen did in fact have permission to bring the information to his home.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, VA general counsel Tim McClain said one of the documents shows the employee had permission to have “software” at home.

“I’m not a computer geek, but [there] would be no point at using this software at home if — you know — if you couldn’t use it,” said U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla.

McClain said he could not comment further because it is a personnel matter.

Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., said he was uncomfortable talking about the matter in public “because this individual has rights.”

In the wake of data loss, the government had vowed to pay for credit monitoring for those affected, but now that may not be necessary, said U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

“If the FBI can confirm that the data has not been removed from the computer since it was stolen, I think we will be able to save taxpayers millions of dollars. The FBI says they have reason to be optimistic,” Craig said in a news release.

But Joe Davis, a spokesman for Veterans of Foreign Wars, said the government should continue to pay for credit monitoring for those affected until authorities confirm that the personal data was not compromised.

Credit checks can cost up to $100.

Asked if it was realistic to have the government pay for so many credit checks, Davis said, “Nobody who is affected by this data loss should have to pay one dime for a mess they didn’t create.”

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