Officers scouring the outskirts of Berlin for a lioness now believe the mysterious animal is actually a wild boar.
Heat-seeking equipment has been used in the search – but no evidence of a big cat has been found.
The mayor of Kleinmachnow, Michael Grubert, has admitted he was “sceptical from the beginning” that a lion was on the loose.
Children were earlier advised to stay indoors as police searched for the suspected lioness.
The mayor said they had not “found a single indication of any lion or wild animal, other than wild boar” – and stressed there is “no acute danger”.
“It’s like playing the lottery. You can’t keep playing, thinking you’ll win – but no, as is, there’s no indication it’s a lion,” he added.
Although officers had reported seeing something this morning, they weren’t very close by – and Mr Grubert believes they may have just seen a wild boar, which are common in the area.
“I’ve seen a few big pigs in my time as mayor. And I was surprised at how light-coloured this big pig was,” he added.
The mayor stopped short of revealing how much had been spent on this investigation – and confirmed the search for a lion will now draw to a close.
Sky’s Europe correspondent Siobhan Robbins reports that – if another credible sighting happens – the police will react.
Helicopters, drones and infrared cameras were involved in the investigation, with hunters and a vet also part of the effort.
The search was sparked by reports that a big cat was chasing a wild boar. Witnesses had provided a video.
Nearby zoos, animal shelters and circuses had all confirmed that they weren’t missing a lioness – and the authorities had no information about one being privately owned nearby.
Unfortunately for the police, not everyone was taking the search seriously – with young people playing a loud recording of lion roars on a Bluetooth device in the middle of the night.
Mr Grubert made it clear that he had no regrets about the large police operation – telling reporters he would do it all again.
“The danger of a wild animal in Kleinmachnow justifies the deployment,” he said.