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German police want to return to Portugal to probe Madeleine McCann case after British tourists gave them 'excellent' tips on her disappearance (but could local officers block their plan?)

 German police want to return to Portugal to continue their investigation into the Madeleine McCann case following 'excellent' leads from British holidaymakers.

It comes as German prosecutors said they are confident they can charge prime suspect Christian Brueckner over the three-year-old girl's disappearance from the Praia da Luz resort in 2007.

However, such a move is likely to antagonise authorities in the Algarve - who would need to be consulted first - owing to poor relations between the two countries' police teams. 


Convicted paedophile Brueckner, 43, was twice extradited from Portugal for sex crimes against children but detectives investigating the Briton's disappearance there never considered he could be involved. 

German police want to return to Portugal to continue their investigation into the Madeleine McCann case following 'excellent' leads from British holidaymakers
German prosecutors said they are confident they can charge prime suspect Christian Brueckner (pictured) over the three-year-old girl's disappearance from the Praia da Luz resort in 2007

German police want to return to Portugal to continue their investigation into the Madeleine McCann case following 'excellent' leads from British holidaymakers. It comes as German prosecutors said they are confident they can charge prime suspect Christian Brueckner (right) over the three-year-old girl's disappearance from the Praia da Luz resort in 2007

Such a move by the German police is likely to antagonise authorities in the Algarve - who would need to be consulted first - owing to poor relations between the two countries' police teams. Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters (above), who is leading the McCann investigation in Germany, has previously said he has 'concrete evidence' that Brueckner killed Madeleine

Such a move by the German police is likely to antagonise authorities in the Algarve - who would need to be consulted first - owing to poor relations between the two countries' police teams. Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters (above), who is leading the McCann investigation in Germany, has previously said he has 'concrete evidence' that Brueckner killed Madeleine

'German detectives have received a lot of excellent information in the past few weeks, especially from British holidaymakers who were in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine's disappearance,' a source close to the case told The Sun

'That's why they want to return to Portugal as soon as possible to try and move forward in the investigation,' they added.

Brueckner is serving a 21-month sentence on an unrelated drugs matter at a prison in Kiel, Germany, and will be transferred to Wolfenbuttel in January to start a seven-year sentence for raping an OAP woman in Praia da Luz in 2005.


He was identified as the new lead suspect in the McCann case in June after German police released a trove of new evidence including details of his cars and phone numbers, urging people to come forward with new tip-offs.

Meanwhile, Scotland Yard said on Thursday that it has no plans to end its Madeleine McCann missing person investigation, despite the belief of German prosecutors that she was murdered.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said the force is working 'really, really closely' with the German authorities, but did not expect them to share all of their evidence.

Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, who is leading the McCann investigation in Germany, has previously said he has 'concrete evidence' that Brueckner killed her.

Madeleine was just three years old when she disappeared while on holiday in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve region with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann

Madeleine was just three years old when she disappeared while on holiday in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve region with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann 

Investigators believe sex offender Brueckner murdered Madeleine after abducting her from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007.

Brueckner - referred to as Christian B in Germany due to the country's strict privacy laws - was identified as a suspect in June, but prosecutors do not have enough evidence to charge him.

At the time, the Met said its active investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, Operation Grange, is a missing person inquiry as there is no 'definitive evidence whether Madeleine is alive or dead'.

Dame Cressida told reporters on Thursday that the nature of the investigation has not changed.

She said: 'We're continuing to work very closely with our colleagues in the BKA (Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office) in Germany, as you know, and the PJ (Policia Judiciaria) in Portugal.

'We do have our small team still working on that and there's no significant change for us in terms of our resourcing or posture.

'As you know, we have some funding to continue that and we are continuing it.

'We will continue until the time that it is right, either because much more light has been thrown on this and, or, somebody has been brought to justice. Or, if we feel we have exhausted all possible opportunities.

'We're not any of those stages at the moment, and the team continues.'

Asked whether the German authorities had shared everything with the Met, she added: 'So, we're working really closely with the German authorities. I would not expect necessarily every single piece of material to be shared with us. I'm sure they're sharing the relevant things at the relevant times with us.

'We are working really, really closely with them.'

Brueckner is currently serving a prison sentence for drug trafficking and is expected to remain behind bars until 2026 after losing a bid to overturn a rape conviction.

He was last year found guilty of the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman in the same Portuguese resort from which Madeleine vanished and sentenced to seven years in jail, at a court in Brunswick, Lower Saxony.

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