GERMAN prosecutors believe convicted paedophile Christian B snatched Madeleine McCann as he was named an official suspect in Portugal.
Following a lengthy investigation by authorities in Portugal, Germany and the UK, there is now potentially crucial evidence that could solve the world’s most famous missing child mystery.
Christian B has been maned as a suspect of abducting and killing Madeleine McCann but denies involvement[/caption]
Cops investigating the 15-year case are said to be more hopeful after Christian B was informed he was now an ‘arguido’ (formal suspect) by local authorities.
He could face trial in light of “extremely strong” new evidence from the tot’s 2007 disappearance, according to Jim Gamble.
The former Chief Met Police Officer acknowledged the “false storms” which have plagued the Maddie mystery, but said this is “not just another case plucked out of the pile”.
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They pair are said to still hold out hope their daughter – who would now be 18 – is still alive.
But prosecutors in Germany are sure she is dead after looking into Christian B’s past links to the Algarve.
He is currently in jail in Germany for raping a pensioner on the Portuguese sunshine coast in 2005, and is suspected of a string of other crimes.
But he has refused to cooperate with investigators on the McCann case, aside from insisting he was not involved.
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As they search for the missing piece of the jigsaw, prosecutors are faced with a series of potential clues that link the German with the tot’s disappearance.
Despite the recent breakthrough, The Sun previously revealed the case against Christian B was set to crumble after British investigators found he had an alibi.
Phone records examined by the German team were said to place him at the scene.
But a TV team led by an ex-detective discovered the sex predator was “30 minutes away” from Praia da Luz when Madeleine disappeared.
The Channel 5 three-parter Madeleine McCann: Investigating the Prime Suspect, is set to demolish the case against Christian B.
The team, who spent months in Portugal and Germany, found new witnesses in both countries who throw his guilt into doubt.
And the new probe led by former Surrey Police detective Mark Williams-Thomas is said to show an alibi “stacks up”.
Our source said: “They have concluded he could not have snatched Madeleine.
“He was 30 minutes away and was not on the phone in Praia da Luz the night she vanished.”
‘Russians in the frame’
The TV investigators are also said to have found evidence other suspects may have snatched Madeleine.
A Portuguese source said: “The new information is pointing towards the fact two Russians could be behind it.”
It throws doubt on claims by prosecutors they have solid information incriminating jailed rapist Christian B.
The German investigators are said to have “concrete proof” Madeleine is dead, and claim Christian B killer her soon after snatching her.
But The Sun revealed last year that they actually have “nothing concrete”.
‘Shocking new evidence’
Another team working on a documentary about Madeleine also said they had handed over fresh evidence to detectives.
They claim they have discovered proof that Christian B, 45, was near Praia da Luz when Madeleine vanished in May 2007.
The documentary team from Sat.1, made up of ex-investigators and journalists, say they collected “many new clues and indications” that Christian took her.
Editor-in-chief Juliane Ebling said: “The sad story of Madeleine McCann is a story that has many German facets.
“The case is being tried at the Regional Court of Braunschweig, as the German Christian B is the main suspect.
“In his environment there are many German women and men who can describe individual details surrounding the crime.
“Jutta Rabe has researched shocking material in Germany, Portugal and England over the past months, which heavily incriminates Christian B.”
Scotland Yard detectives still say they have seen no evidence that Madeleine is not alive.
The four-strong Operation Grange unit are still operating in an “active” phase of their missing child investigation.
A source told the Mail Online last year: “Clearly the Met have more open thinking than the German authorities have at the present.
“Madeleine’s parents have always said if they are presented with hard proof she has died they will accept it.
“But the fact Operation Grange still exists and still gets funding shows the Met still thinks there is still work and investigation to be done.”
The Home Office awarded a further £350,000 in funding to last until later this year.
German prosecutors named Christian B as their prime suspect in June 2020.
But it emerged they had actually started investigating him at least three years before that.
Now after around five years of intensive detective work, they still do not have enough evidence to being charges.
Mr Wolters said: “We did not take the decision to go public lightly.
“Since then we have found a lot more pieces of the puzzle, but I cannot reveal what they are.
“We are making progress and have the same number of investigators working on the case, but we don’t yet have enough to charge the suspect.”
Secret cellar and sinister factory
The probe into Christian B has revealed he had access to a number of creepy lairs shut away from prying eyes.
One was a run-down compound on the Algarve with high fences not far from where Madeleine was snatched.
A former lover led cops to the secret bunker, which was previously guarded by four ferocious Kangal dogs – which have the strongest bite of any hound in the world.
The probe also led police to search his former address in Germany.
At one house, the suspect is said to have illegally dug a secret 10ft cellar under the floor.
Locals claimed he planned to live like Austrian cellar monster Josef Fritzl, although there is no evidence of any wrongdoing at the secluded property.
Christian B also bought a former cardboard box factory a couple of years after Madeleine vanished.
Journalist Jon Clarke found what appeared to be a shallow grave inside after cops had searched it.
It was in this disused factory that police found more than 8,000 sickening photos and videos of sexual abuse he had hidden in a Lidl bag under the body of Christian B’s buried dead dog Charlie.
Facing other charges
Christian B is reportedly set to be charged with raping Irish tour rep Hazel Behan in the Algarve in 2004, three years before Madeleine vanished.
Der Spiegel reported that prosecutors will “conclude” their investigation into the rape early this year.
Miss Behan, who was 20 at the time, came forward in June 2020 after reading about his previous convictions.
German prosecutors have not yet revealed what evidence they have that implicates him in the case, and his lawyer has declined to comment.
The fiend, who lived in the Algarve between 1995 to 2007, is currently serving a seven-year sentence for raping an American pensioner in 2005.
He undertook odd jobs in the area where Madeleine vanished, and is known to have burgled hotel rooms and holiday flats.
Christian is also being investigating over possible links to at least four other crimes in the area.
One is the sexual assault of a ten-year-old girl by a naked man in 2007, six miles from Praia da Luz.
German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said there is good reason to believe the culprit was Christian B.
Another involves the abuse of four children at a festival in São Bartolomeu de Messines in 2017.
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And he is also being probed over the murder of teenager Carola Titze, 16, in Belgium in 1996.
German cops also looked at whether the suspect is connected to the disappearance of “German Maddie” Inga Gehricke who vanished aged five in 2015.
Madeleine McCann went missing in Portugal in 2007[/caption]