Prime suspect was cleared by shamed cop in 2007 — Madeleine McCann disappearance

Three-year-old Madeleine Mc Cann disappeared in May 2007 while her family was on vacation in Praia da Luz Portugal. UPI

Three-year-old Madeleine Mc Cann disappeared in May 2007 while her family was on vacation in Praia da Luz Portugal. UPI

Authorities said Friday a new suspect in the mysterious 2007 disappearance of 3-year-old Madeleine McCann is now being investigated for a similar case in Germany.

The then 3-year-old disappeared while on holiday with her family at a resort in Portugal and has not been seen since despite years of police investigations. She has never been found.

Police in Germany reported Wednesday they had identified a suspect, a 43-year-old German citizen now imprisoned in his home country for a sexual crime.

He is believed to have been in the area where Madeleine, three, disappeared while on holiday in Portugal in 2007.

The McCanns" spokesman Clarence Mitchell was also interviewed extensively on television, relaying the view from the parents that the latest development is "potentially highly significant'.

Ney, who is now serving a life sentence for the abductions and murders of three children, had been considered after detectives received a tip.

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In 2010, Mr Gamble was appointed by the UK Home Secretary to lead the initial scoping review of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

Investigators said this week a German man identified as Christian Bruckner has emerged as a suspect in the McCann case.

Police from Britain, Germany and Portugal asked for anyone to come forward if they had seen two vehicles linked to the suspect - a Volkswagen camper van and a Jaguar. During this period, he would also travel back to Germany, where he recorded a number of convictions for drug and sexual offences, according to the Guardian.

"All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. But they say that despite all that, whatever the outcome of this particular line of enquiry might be, they need to know as they need to find peace".

British police have said that the man is the main focus of the investigation and the appeal has been made "to prove or disprove his involvement".

Portuguese, British and German police appealed for the public's help in building their case against the suspect, asking people if they remembered seeing him in or around Praia da Luz 13 years ago.

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German media name him as Christian B, 43. It is an early 1980s model, with two tone markings, a white upper body and a yellow skirting. He was never arrested, and a year later the Portuguese authorities said he was no longer considered a suspect.

In the centre of the village Antonio pulled up at the spiritual heart of Praia da Luz, its 16th century Catholic Church of Nossa Senhora da Luz which sits just above the serene crescent beach and which is dedicated to "Our Lady of Light" and doubles up as St Vincent's Anglican chaplaincy. "We believe he was living in this van for days, possibly weeks, and may have been using it on 3 May 2007". The auto was originally registered in the suspect's name. "He is not being named and the police are quite adamant they are not going to do that, certainly not yet, but they want very specific details around his movement in 2007, even down to phone calls he received the night before Madeleine went missing and the fact he changed the registration of his auto the day after".

McCann's parents were initially identified as suspects in their daughter's disappearance by Portuguese police - making both them and the case tabloid fodder.

In Britain the most recent Metropolitan Police investigation, which began in 2011, has cost more than £11m.

Christian B received a phone call in Praia da Luz at 19:32, which ended at 20:02. "We have been working with colleagues in Germany and Portugal and this man is a suspect in Madeleine's disappearance", Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell said in a statement Wednesday.

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