UK & World News
McCanns: Search Shows Madeleine May Be Alive
Kate and Gerry McCann believe the lack of evidence found during new police searches proves their daughter could still be alive.
The couple say they are "very pleased" with the digs carried out in Praia da Luz over the last 10 days.
"We are further encouraged that despite the intensive searches, no trace of Madeleine has been found and this reinforces our belief that she could still be alive," they said in a statement.
"As parents of a missing child, we have always wanted all reasonable lines of inquiry to be followed and it is gratifying to know that a substantial amount of work will take place over the coming months with the close co-operation of the British and Portuguese authorities.
"We would like to thank all those involved for their efforts and the members of the public who have come forward with information."
Officers from the UK have been working with their Portuguese counterparts on sites in and around Praia da Luz, where Madeleine disappeared in 2007.
Police say this is only the "first phase of this major investigation which has been agreed with the Portuguese".
It is thought the UK teams will start flying home today but officers say more searches will take place "shortly".
The new operation in Portugal is being carried out at the request of British police.
The three search areas were identified after 41 ground anomalies were identified by both aerial survey and ground analysis.
There were also unconfirmed reports last week that Scotland Yard has been granted permission to question three suspects about the case.
Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs McCann will return to Portugal on Monday to deliver statements to the libel trial of former Portuguese police chief Goncalo Amaral, who they are suing over claims in his book The Truth Of The Lie.