The family of three-year-old Kienan Hebert offered a tearful thank you to the toddler's abductor just hours after the boy was returned home apparently unharmed, and Mounties urged the only suspect in the case to come forward.

The Sparwood, B.C. boy's parents appeared at a press conference Sunday, where father Paul cried as he expressed his gratitude to Kienan's abductor.

"I would like to say thank you. It was the right thing to do. I thank God that Kienan was returned unharmed," Hebert said.

"Kienan is happily home and he's playing with his brothers and sisters. Thank you. Thank you."

Cpl. Dan Moskaluk next addressed Randall Hopley, a 46-year-old convicted sex offender from the Sparwood area suspected to have taken Kienan for days before returning him.

Moskaluk spoke gently to Hopley, commending him for returning Kienan to his family.

"It was a tremendous thing you did for them, Randall," Moskaluk said.

But the police investigation remains in full force, and though the Sparwood community breathed a collective sigh of relief Sunday there are still concerns about the safety of other local children.

"Our investigating is now shifting its focus from getting Kienan home safely to ensuring public safety by finding you, by finding Randall," Moskaluk said. "You need to reach out to the police."

"We know how extremely difficult it's been, this time, for your family and yourself. But you've done the right thing so far. You've corrected many things."

More than 60 officers are at work in the case, Moskaluk said. Police have not said whether any officers were at or near the Hebert home when Kienan was returned.

Hopley's mother Margaret Fink told CTV News Sunday she was relieved to see Kienan returned home, and urged her son to visit her.

"I'm very glad. I hope he comes home now. I'll be waiting for him and my husband will," Fink said. "If he can hear me… I'm very glad that the little boy [was returned], and I hope he's well."

Hopley is charged with squatting for months last year in a cabin in Crowsnest Pass, filling the drawers with stolen children's clothing, chocolate bars and sex toys.

He has at least 11 assault and burglary convictions, and was also accused of attempting to abduct and molest a Sparwood boy in 2007. He was convicted of sexual assault in 1985.

He is described as a Caucasian male with brown hair, hazel eyes and a birthmark along his hairline.

Hopley is believed to be driving a brown 1987 Toyota Camry with the licence plate 098RAL. Police are telling the public not to approach Hopley's vehicle if they see it

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911 immediately.