LISBON, Portugal – Speaking exclusively to Sky News, Robert Murat, who police say is a suspect in the case of a missing 4-year-old British girl who disappeared last week while on vacation with her parents in Portugal, said he had been made a "scapegoat" by Portugese police.
He was detained on Monday night but released.
Officers said they did not have enough evidence to arrest him in connection with 4-year-old Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
"This has ruined my life and made my life very difficult for my family here and in Britain," Murat said.
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"The only way I will survive this is if they catch Madeleine's abductor."
He added: "I've been made a scapegoat for something I did not do."
Officers interviewed two other people, said to be Murat's German girlfriend, Michaela Walczuch, and her estranged Portuguese husband, Luis Antonio, as witnesses at the same time.
He and his mother Jennifer live in a villa just 100 yards from the McCanns' holiday apartment in Praia Da Luz.
Sources told Sky News crime correspondent Martin Brunt that Murat was considered a "formal suspect."
They said he was detained after he became aware he was under police surveillance. He complained and was detained.
"There was a surveillance operation on him," Brunt said.
"He became aware he was under surveillance, that a car was following him. He was so annoyed he went and complained to the local police."
Sources also told Brunt that Murat claimed he had an alibi for the night Madeleine disappeared.
"His mother had told me they have a strong alibi for the night Madeleine went missing," Brunt said.
"He told police he came home at 7 p.m. and his mother came home at 8 p.m. They had dinner and went to bed."
Police searched a water tank next to the swimming pool in the Murats' home and examined a paper shredder.
Two vehicles on the premises — a VW camper van and a hire car — were also searched.
Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment two weeks ago.
Her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, were having dinner in a tapas bar nearby.
The pair, both doctors from Rothley in Leicestershire, have pledged to stay in the Algarve until she is returned to them.
Relatives of Madeleine will launch the Madeleine Fund, which will support efforts to find the missing girl, at the Walkers Stadium in Leicester.
A reward of £2.6m is being offered for information leading to Madeleine being traced.
Detectives have admitted they have no idea where she may be.