FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – After being locked up for nearly 10 years Timothy Masters talked to CBS4 about his exoneration.

On Tuesday the Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said Masters had “no” connection to the murder of Peggy Hettrick. Then Fort Collins police apologized to Masters for their role in sending him to prison.

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“One by one all three of them sat down with me. They apologized to me and they gave an apology to my family too for all that we’ve been through over the years,” Masters told CBS4’s Mike Hooker.

The mayor, the police chief, and the district attorney made the apologies. It was the apology Masters has said he wanted since he was released from prison 3 1/2 years ago.

“I thought it was a heartfelt apology. I was really touched by it. Something I’ve been waiting for a long time, along with the exoneration,” he said.

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The exoneration came earlier Tuesday afternoon when Suthers officially cleared Masters as a suspect in the murder of Hettrick in 1987. Up to now there had been no official apology because Masters was still technically a suspect, even though his conviction and life sentence had been overturned with new DNA evidence.

“I don’t want to side with them too much, but I can kind of understand why they didn’t say anything until the Attorney General’s Office exonerated me, but it would have been nice if they’d said it a few years ago.”

In the ongoing search for Hettrick’s killer, Masters says he’s concerned the Fort Collins police may have missed crucial evidence as they focused on him. He’s hopeful the attorney general’s investigation leads to the real killer.

“They’ve been working really hard to solve the case. I hope that for Peggy Hettrick’s family that they finally are able to make an arrest. And for me too — it would be great to see the person that did it actually have to serve time for what he did, what he caused Peggy’s family and me and mine.”

Masters, now 40 years old, says he’s trying to move on.

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“I can forgive,” he said.