London – Searches of land around the Portuguese resort where British youngster Madeleine McCann vanished in 2007 have turned up no evidence relating to her disappearance, Scotland Yard said.
Portuguese and British investigators on Wednesday concluded an eight-day search of patches of land around the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.
"At this time, no evidence relating to Madeleine McCann has been identified", Britain's Scotland Yard police headquarters said in a statement.
"However, it has given us an essential understanding of the activity on and people that have used this piece of land."
At the British government's request, Scotland Yard launched an exhaustive review of Madeleine's disappearance in May 2011.
Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment bedroom in May 2007, a few days short of her fourth birthday, as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.
British detectives received authorisation from the Portuguese authorities last month to search near the resort complex.
Around 60 000 square metres of land was searched and surveyed, including 41 "ground anomalies", all utilities, drainage channels and derelict buildings, police said.
The deployment was the largest ever undertaken by British police abroad in such a case.
"More activity has been agreed and we expect that to commence shortly", Scotland Yard said, while further requests to the Portuguese authorities were being compiled.
"There is still a substantial amount of work yet to be completed in the coming weeks and months.
"This recent work is part of ensuring that all lines of enquiry are progressed in a systematic manner and covers just the one hypothesis that she was killed and buried locally."
Graffiti in Portuguese has appeared in Praia da Luz, reading: "English police are stupid", British television showed, saying it hinted at local frustration with the police activity as the peak tourist season approaches.
Madeleine's parents Gerry and Kate McCann, who have mounted a high-profile campaign to keep the case in the public eye, said they were being kept updated on the work in Portugal and were "encouraged by the progress" in the investigation.