Police are appealing for the public’s help in solving the Madeleine McCann case, after they announced a child sex offender was the new suspect.
The 43-year-old German man, who has not been named, is currently serving a prison sentence.
He is believed to have been in the area where Madeleine was last seen, when she disappeared in Portugal 13 years ago.
“Someone out there knows a lot more than they’re letting on,” said the officer leading the Met Police inquiry.
The Met Police, who are working with German and Portuguese police, said the case remained a “missing persons” investigation because it does not have “definitive evidence” as to whether Madeleine is alive or not.
However, German investigators have classed it as a murder inquiry.
“There is reason to assume that there are other persons, apart from the suspect, who have concrete knowledge of the course of the crime and maybe also of the place where the body was left,” said German police.
The suspect has been described as white with short blond hair and about 6ft tall with a slim build at the time.
Police have also released photos of two vehicles – a VW camper van and a Jaguar car – which are believed to be linked to the man, as well as a house in Portugal.
The day after Madeleine vanished in 2007, the suspect transferred the Jaguar to someone else’s name.
On Wednesday, Germany’s federal criminal police office – which is leading this stage of the case – said the man was serving a jail sentence for a sex crime.
He has two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls”, the office added.
The McCann family’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell described the latest development as “significant”, saying that in 13 years he couldn’t “recall an instance when the police had been so specific about an individual”.
He told BBC Breakfast: “Of all the thousands of leads and potential suspects that have been mentioned in the past, there has never been something as clear cut as that from not just one, but three police forces.”
Madeleine was aged three when she went missing from an apartment in Praia da Luz on the evening of 3 May 2007, while her parents were with friends at a nearby tapas bar.
Her disappearance sparked a huge and costly police hunt across much of Europe – the most recent Metropolitan Police investigation, which began in 2011, has cost more than £11m.
Det Ch Insp Mark Cranwell, who is in charge of the Met investigation, said the suspect, then aged 30, frequented the Algarve between 1995 and 2007, staying for “days upon end” in his camper van and living a “transient lifestyle”.
He was in the Praia de Luz area where the McCann family was staying when she disappeared and received a phone call at 7.32pm, which ended at 8.02pm. Madeleine is believed to have disappeared between 9.10pm and 10pm that evening.
Police have released details of the suspect’s phone number (+351 912 730 680) and the number which dialled him (+351 916 510 683), and said any information about these numbers could be “critical”.
Det Ch Insp Cranwell said the caller was a “key witness” and should get in touch.
And appealing to the public for details about the suspect, he added: “Some people will know the man we are describing today, the suspect in our investigation. I’m appealing to you directly.
canadian generic cialis Fortunately, medical science has taken a giant leap forward in curing this nightmare called ED. This allows a greater pressure of blood to the male penis hence contributing to a better and healthier sex life and ensuring happiness in your bedroom. 3.Avoiding Alcohol & Beer Both alcohol buy viagra without prescriptions and opioids. Many men who have taken cipla tadalafil 20mg without the true need for it have suffered from heart palpitations, flushing of the face and upset stomach.Less common side effects for erectile dysfunction medication include headache, upset stomach, dizziness, diarrhea, cold symptoms or seizure that may happen if the user takes the drug by violating any instructed advice of physician. Overcoming the ED causes is not an impossible pursuit, but with hard work, it sildenafil 100mg viagra is a means to halt hair loss and rejuvenate follicles that are weakened but still alive on the scalp.
“You may know, you may be aware of some of the things he has done. He may have confided in you about the disappearance of Madeleine.
“More than 13 years have passed and your loyalties may have changed.
“This individual is in prison and we are conscious that some people may have been concerned about contacting police in the past. Now is the time to come forward.”
German police said the suspect is thought to have worked jobs including as a waiter, but also committed burglaries in hotels and holiday resorts and dealt drugs.
Christian Hoppe, from the German police, said the suspect may have broken into an apartment before spontaneously kidnapping Madeleine.
Is this the breakthrough? Is this German prisoner the man who can unlock the mystery?
It certainly has the feel of a significant development – police have used those very words.
Evidence, according to detectives, places the man near the scene; the re-registering of his car the next day is undoubtedly suspicious.
And his criminal record, disclosed by the German police, is a disturbing guide as to what his motivations might have been.
But… there have been so many false trails in the case before – clues, sightings and suspects that led nowhere.
Three years ago, during the last major police appeal, Scotland Yard said it was working on one final “critical” line of inquiry.
Now, we’re told there’s another one. That may explain why Met detectives – who’ve been involved in the case for nine years – are being rather more cautious than their German counterparts.
In a statement, the McCanns welcomed the appeal: “We would like to thank the police forces involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine.
“All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice.
“We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace.”
Police said the suspect was one of 600 people that detectives on the UK inquiry, known as Operation Grange, originally looked at, though he had not been a suspect.
After a 10-year anniversary appeal in 2017, “significant” fresh information about him was provided.
Since then, Met detectives have carried out “extensive inquiries” in Portugal and Germany to gather more details about him.
The force said it was trying to “prove or disprove” his involvement in the case and retained an “open mind”.
Those with information can contact the Operation Grange incident room on 020 7321 9251.