TODAY | May 01, 2014
>>> speak out overnight as the seventh anniversary of their daughter's disappearance approaches. nbc's keir simmons is in london.
>> reporter: kate and gerry mccann say the search for her abductor has been slowed by bureaucracy in britain and portugal where she disappeared. it is hard to believe the differences wouldn't just be put aside to find out what happened when seven years ago saturday madeleine just vanished.
>> it is still painful and living in limbo not knowing is horrible.
>> reporter: this was madeleine just 3 years old and how she would have looked through the years. she'd now be 10. she vanished from a vacation apartment in portugal . her mom and dad desperately searched. they were arrested, then cleared but their little girl is still missing.
>> we haven't found madeleine or we haven't found what happens then we haven't done enough.
>> reporter: she says seven years later police in britain and portugal are still not working together closely.
>> we want ideally a joint investigation team so the work can be streamlined, bureaucracy is reduced and progress can be made much quicker.
>> reporter: scotland yard recently announced what might be vital leads.
>> there's been a whole series of crimes against young children by people breaking into apartments and potentially linked.
>> reporter: they may even have a key suspect, a man wearing a distinctive top but british police haven't been allowed to go to portugal to investigate.
>> all those differences will need to be put aside to move forward to get some resolution for madeleine and for those near and dear to her.
>> to find out what happened to her and who was responsible.
>> reporter: for madeleine 's parents, so they can know what happened to their little girl .
>> even though seven years is gone, there's lots and lots of things that still need investigated.
>> they are still hopeful they will be allowed to go to portugal to carry out those investigations while kate and gerry mccann know the outcome may be the worst for madeleine . what's amazing about this couple, even during these painful years, guys, they've used the publicity to help bring about a u.s.-style amber alert system in europe.
>> thank you.