Barrie and Rimmer are both partially right. The default tense for reported speech is the past tense. By switching it to the present tense, you are signaling that the statement is still true. So
She said Michael is a suspect.
means that Michael is still a suspect. But
She said Michael was a suspect.
doesn't tell you whether or not Michael is still a suspect.
UPDATE: this may differ in British and American English. If you do an Ngram comparing "He said she was" and "He said she is", you find a very small fraction of occurrences of "He said she is" if you specify American English, but none if you specify British English. On the other hand, if you look at the actual hits, the results of this Ngram look pretty untrustworthy.
But even in American English, you would say "She said Michael was a suspect" unless you're specifically (possibly without realizing it) calling attention to the fact that Michael still is a suspect. And the results of Google search for phrases like "He said she is" turn up some instances where people are indeed doing this.