Speaking publicly about the inquiry for the first time in a Channel 4 documentary to be aired next week, the two former British police detectives say the "answer still lies" in that small section of the Portuguese coast.
They disclose that one statement, contained in files released by police last summer, apparently corroborates the sighting by a friend of Madeleine's parents of a man carrying a small girl in the area at the time she went missing.
The search team also found statements from tourists, who all noticed a suspicious-looking man hanging around near the McCanns' apartment on that fateful evening.
And statements from the files suggest the family may have been watched in the days before Madeleine disappeared.
The documentary, Cutting Edge: Madeleine Was Here, follows detectives Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley as they try to piece together what eye-witnesses say happened two years ago.
It marks the second anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.
Mr Edgar, a retired detective inspector with more than 30 years' experience in Cheshire and the RUC, is leading the probe.
He said: "There's someone local, lives locally, who has the answer to this, and not, you know, much wider than 10, 15km away from Praia da Luz. So you don't start an investigation in Morocco or Spain or France or even Lisbon. This offence happened in Praia de Luz. It's a very self-contained resort, and that's where we've started and that's where I think the answer is."
Mr Cowley, who spent three decades as a detective sergeant in police forces in the north west of England, said: "The answer still lies in Praia de Luz and it's important that we focus on Praia da Luz and the surrounding area."
Source: Wales online, press release via PA News