The hole in the Madeleine McCann case preventing police charging new suspect

·2-min read

A new investigation into a convicted paedophile suspected of murdering Madeleine McCann may be dropped if police don’t receive more information from the public.

The BBC reports that investigators claim to have substantial evidence that the three-year-old who disappeared in 2007 is dead but not enough to take the suspect to court.

"We have evidence against the accused which leads us to believe that he really killed Madeleine but this evidence is not strong enough at the moment to take him to court,” said Hans Christian Wolters, a prosecutor in Braunschweig where detectives are leading the investigation.

The suspect has been named by media as Christian Brueckner, a 43-year-old convicted German child sex offender, currently in prison in his home country.

He has also been linked to two other missing children.

At the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, police say Brueckner lived in the Praia da Luz area of Portugal, a 25 minute walk from the Ocean Club complex where the the McCann family were staying.

Madeleine McCann pictured left and suspect Christian Brueckner (right)
Madeleine McCann (left) went missing in 2007. A new suspect Christian Brueckner (right) is now being investigated. Source: Met Police/BBC

An appeal by British police has generated hundreds of tips in the days since authorities said they were investigating Brueckner in the disappearance of Madeleine.

"The Op Grange team have had just short of 400 pieces of information through, in calls and emails," a British police spokesman said.

It comes after claims by Sky News that the suspect confessed to his part in Madeleine's disappearance to a friend, as they watched a TV news report on the case in a German bar on the 10th anniversary of her disappearance.

Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office announced they are treating the case as a murder and have evidence that is "strong enough to say that the girl is dead and strong enough to accuse a specific individual of murder – that strong”.

But Mr Wolters cautioned without more information, it could be another brick wall for investigators and more heartbreak for Madeleine’s parents.

"One has to be honest and remain open to the possibility that our investigation could end without a charge, that it ends like the others have.

"We are optimistic it will be different for us but for that we need more information," Mr Wolters told the BBC.

with AAP

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