The breakthrough comes close to the 15th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance (Picture: REX / PA)
Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann claim to have found crucial new evidence linking their chief suspect and the toddler.
The breakthrough comes on the 15th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance and as prosecutors are reportedly poised to charge Christian Brueckner.
The 45-year-old convicted paedophile was first named as a suspect by German Police in June 2020.
Earlier this month, German prosecutors claimed to have discovered new evidence linking Brueckner to Madeleine’s abduction.
The three-year-old vanished without a trace from her parents’ holiday apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.
Quizzed about the development on Portuguese TV, Hans-Christian Wolters, who is leading the German investigation, said: ‘We have found new facts and new evidence.
‘It’s not forensic evidence but evidence and because of our evidence, we are sure he is the murderer of Madeleine McCann.
‘We are sure he killed Madeleine.’
Madeleine disappeared while on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007 (Picture: AP)
There has been speculation among those following the investigation that the ‘new evidence’ may be ‘telltale’ fibres found in Brueckner’s van.
Mr Wolters was questioned on television by Sandra Felgueiras, a Portuguese TV presenter and journalist, who also interviewed Kate and Gerry McCann following their daughter’s disappearance.
Pressing Mr Wolters on the latest development she said: ‘Is it true you did find something belonging to Madeleine in the caravan of Christian B?’
But the German prosecutor refused to go into details, saying he ‘can’t comment on details of the investigation’.
‘But you can’t deny it, can you?’, asked Ms Felgueiras.
Mr Wolters replied: ‘I don’t want to deny it,’ later adding ‘because the suspect has not yet been informed’.
The Ocean Club which is next to Apartment 5A in Praia Da Luz in Portugal, where Madeline McCann went missing (Picture: PA)
Under German law, details of a police investigation cannot be made public until a suspect and their legal team are given full details of the case against them.
Mr Wolters said in October that after gathering evidence, his team were ‘convinced’ the case would soon reach a conclusion.
He has also reportedly told The Sun he soon hopes to bring a charge against Brueckner over Madeleine’s disappearance.
Portuguese police also made Brueckner an ‘arguido’ – an official suspect – in the ongoing investigation into the toddler’s disappearance last month, a move which will reportedly give them more time to gather evidence.
Brueckner has always denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.
He had declined to speak to police or prosecutors and has mocked the case against him, insisting his accusers have no evidence.
Brueckner is currently serving a seven-year sentence in a German prison, for raping a 72-year-old woman.
He is also suspected of raping an Irish tour rep in 2004 and exposing himself to youngsters in an Algarve playground.
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