Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are focusing on a convicted German paedophile, it was claimed last night.
German officers are believed to have identified a suspect and passed his details to British and Portuguese detectives.
The potential breakthrough has prompted Portuguese police, the Policia Judiciaria, to plough more resources into the case.
Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are focusing on a convicted German paedophile
The development comes 12 years after Madeleine vanished from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve as her parents Gerry and Kate dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.
A month after the three-year-old disappeared in May 2007, the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency was given information about several potential German suspects.
However, it is understood the new suspect, who is already in prison, was only recently identified.
A recent Netflix documentary claimed British police identified 28 cases within 40 miles of the McCanns’ apartment where a sexual predator had crept into holiday accommodation in the years before and after Madeleine’s disappearance.
It is understood the new suspect, who is already in prison, has only been recently identified
Police are reportedly pursuing two theories and two potential suspects. One involves the German paedophile, the second – understood to have been examined for two years and described as ‘delicate’ – revolves around a suspect in another country.
Scotland Yard confirmed the investigation was ‘ongoing’ but would ‘not provide a running commentary’.
The inquiry comes as detectives on Operation Grange, the codename for the Madeleine probe, are believed to have applied to the Home Office for funding for another year. The investigation has cost £11.75 million.
Police are reportedly pursuing two theories and two potential suspects including the German paedophile and another revolving around a suspect in another country
The spotlight was thrown back on to the operation last Friday when the Lisbon-based newspaper Correio da Manha claimed prosecutors had turned down a request to see material in the case because of ‘active lines of investigation’.
‘Police are following new Maddie kidnap clues,’ the newspaper claimed. ‘More inspectors are advancing with an investigation into a new suspect. A new clue and a new suspect, which the Policia Judiciaria are trying to keep an absolute secret, has led to new resources being put in place to investigate the little girl’s whereabouts.’
A report by Expresso, a Portuguese news website, said the inquiry ‘relates to a complaint made about a foreigner who was in Portugal in May 2007’.
Last night a spokesman for the McCanns said: ‘We cannot discuss any operational details.’