Portuguese police have returned computers and other possessions they seized from Madeleine McCann "suspect" Robert Murat, he said yesterday.
He described the move as a "very positive sign" – but is still waiting to be officially cleared of involvement in the young girl's disappearance.
Mr Murat, 34, lives just yards from the holiday apartment in the Portuguese seaside resort of Praia da Luz where Madeleine vanished on 3 May last year.
Detectives took him in for questioning 11 days after the child went missing and made him the first arguido, or formal suspect, in the case. They also searched the villa he shares with his mother and seized a number of his possessions, including three computers, clothes and a pair of shoes.
Police returned these items to Mr Murat on Thursday, although they did not give any clues about the progress of their investigation.
The Anglo-Portuguese ex-pat said: "It is a very positive sign – there's no doubt about that whatsoever. Why would they return something if it was in the middle of being investigated in any way, shape or form?
"We are very happy to have the computers back, and I hope I will have my arguido status dropped very shortly."
Mr Murat said he was "considering his options" for taking legal action over allegedly libellous articles printed about him in the wake of the apologies to Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, published by four national newspapers in the Express group last week.
He strenuously denies any involvement in the missing girl's disappearance, as do fellow arguidos Mr and Mrs McCann.Reuse content