Federal investigators had been looking for Edward Snowden several days before information about National Security Agency surveillance programs he leaked to The Guardian and The Washington Post was published, Reuters reported.
Sources told Reuters on Wednesday that Snowden was only on the job with contractor Booz Allen Hamilton for four weeks before taking time off. When the company couldn't get in touch with Snowden after a long period of time, the sources said, it notified intelligence officials because of Snowden's high-level security clearance.
The sources told Reuters that although government agents had been unable to locate Snowden, they did not know that he leaked the information in the newspaper reports until he revealed himself as the source on Sunday.
The Reuters report came after an account published in The Daily Beast on Monday, in which intelligence sources said that Snowden was immediately identified as the leading suspect when news of the NSA's PRISM surveillance program broke.
This post has been updated.