British and German police have announced they have a new suspect in the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine McCann, appealing for information on a German man who is in jail in Germany for an unrelated crime.
Detectives described the new appeal for information as a “significant development”. Here is what is already known about the suspect and his possible links to the case:
The prisoner, who has not been publicly identified, is a German national, aged 43, with short, blond hair. When Madeleine vanished, he was 30 but he may have looked between 25 and his early 30s.
German police said the suspect was a paedophile with multiple convictions, including for sexually abusing children. They are treating the case as a murder inquiry.
The man frequented the Praia da Luz area between 1995 and 2007, with some short spells in Germany.
Detectives say the man had a “transient lifestyle”, living in his camper van for days at a time.
He had access to a distinctive VW T3 Westfalia camper van, from at least April 2007 until some time after May 2007, which was used in and around the area of Praia da Luz.
It was an early-1980s model, with two-tone markings, a white upper body and a yellow skirting, with a Portuguese registration plate.
Detectives believe the suspect was living in the van for days, possibly weeks, and may have been using it on 3 May 2007.
He has also been linked to a 1993 British Jaguar, model XJR 6, with a German number plate and registered in Germany, which is believed to have been in the Praia da Luz and surrounding areas in 2006 and 2007.
The car was originally registered in the man’s name but was reregistered to someone else in Germany the day after Madeleine’s disappearance, although the vehicle is believed to have still been in Portugal.
He is believed to have been using a Portuguese mobile phone, number +351 912 730 680, on the day Madeleine went missing.
The phone received a call, starting at 7.32pm and finishing at 8.02pm on 3 May 2007 in the area of Praia da Luz from a second mobile number (+351 916 510 683) from a person not in the area. Police took the unusual step of releasing the phone numbers as part of their investigation.
Christian Hoppe, of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, told German television that the suspect, who spent numerous years in Portugal, had two previous convictions for “sexual contact with girls”.
In June 2014 British sniffer dogs and specialist teams flew to Portugal to search an area of scrubland close to where Madeleine went missing. Six months later, detectives began questioning 11 people who it was thought may have information on the case.
Scotland Yard said they started investigating the man as a suspect after a police appeal on the 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance in 2017 resulted in “significant information” being received.
Here is a timeline of Madeleine’s disappearance and the police investigations.
Additional reporting by PA