Madeleine McCann official suspect Robert Murat says he has had computers and other possessions seized by Portuguese police returned to him.
Robert Murat strenuously denies any involvement
The 34-year-old Briton said the move was a "very positive sign" for him.
However, he has still not been officially cleared and remains a formal suspect in the case, or "arguido".
Mr Murat lives near the apartment from where Madeleine, of Rothley, Leics, disappeared aged three in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on 3 May last year.
Mr Murat 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?
Officially a suspect
Bestowed by police or requested by individual
Right to remain silent
Right to a lawyer
Must report to police every five days
"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 taking legal action over allegedly libellous stories printed about him in the newspapers.
It comes after Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, won a libel settlement and apology from Express Newspapers for suggesting they were involved in their daughter's disappearance.
Mr Murat, who was questioned by police 11 days after Madeleine went missing before he was made a suspect, strenuously denies any involvement.