Christopher Jefferies hailed what he described as "public vindication" from Avon and Somerset Police over its handling of his detention, bail and subsequent release without charge after the killing of 25-year-old landscape architect Joanna Yeates in December 2010.
The "letter of exoneration expressing regret" from chief constable Nick Gargan acknowledged the "hurt" caused to the 68-year-old retired teacher when the force failed to clear him publicly of suspicion over Miss Yeates' murder when releasing him from bail in March 2011.
Mr Jefferies said: "It provides an important conclusion to the whole aftermath of what I had to go through following my arrest.
"As the letter itself explains it provides the public vindication which was not given at the time I was released from police bail.
"Although the letter is addressed to me and is therefore expressing regret at what I had to endure, the letter also implicitly provides the public acceptance that the events didn't just affect me but affected a large circle of my relatives and friends."
Mr Jefferies was arrested on December 30, 2010 and questioned by detectives for two days before being bailed after Miss Yeates was found dead on Christmas Day.
Dutch national Vincent Tabak, who lived next door to her and her boyfriend Greg Reardon, 27, at 44 Canynge Road, Bristol, was jailed for life in October 2011 for her murder.
Mr Jefferies won damages from eight newspapers over stories about him.
As well as paying damages to the former Clifton College teacher, the publishers of the Mirror and the Sun were respectively fined £50,000 and £18,000, plus legal costs after being found guilty of contempt of court.
During Tabak's trial it was revealed the killer had implicated Mr Jefferies.
Mr Gargan joined Avon and Somerset from the National Policing Improvement Agency in March, replacing Colin Port, who was in charge at the time of the murder.