A German prosecutor has said there is “some evidence” that Madeleine McCann was killed by the new suspect but not enough to bring him to trial.
Hans Christian Wolters said police do not have enough “hard evidence” that Christian Brückner abducted Madeleine. He appealed for anyone with information about properties where the suspect previously lived to contact police to allow them to search for Madeleine’s body.
He told Sky News: “All indication we have got that I can’t tell you points in the direction that Madeleine is dead.
“We got things we cannot communicate that speak for the theory that Madeleine is dead, even if I have to admit that we don’t have the body.”
Mr Wolters continued: “We expect that she is dead, but we don’t have enough evidence that we can get a warrant for our suspect in Germany for the murder of Madeleine McCann.
“At the moment we also don’t have enough proof for a trial at court, but we have some evidence that the suspect has done the deed.
“That’s why we need more information from people, especially places he has lived so we can target these places especially and search there for Madeleine.”
On Monday night it was reported that British and German police are looking to speak to a former girlfriend of Brückner, who they think may hold important information about the Madeleine case.
The German woman, who is believed to have dated the 43-year-old suspect for several years, is reportedly being sought by detectives over what she may know about Brückner’s past.
It was also claimed on Monday night that the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was investigated over the case four years ago and ruled out by Portuguese police.
A senior Portuguese police chief, speaking to a Spanish newspaper on condition of anonymity said of Christian Brückner: “We never found strong enough reasons to charge him.”
The revelation coincided with news from Germany that authorities were distancing Brückner from two cold cases he had been linked to, including the disappearance of a six-year-old boy from a beach in Portugal.
The Telegraph can also reveal that forensic evidence from Portugal 2007 may have been destroyed or contaminated because the van owned by the German paedophile was used as a party bus for four years after he last used it and before it was seized by police.
Detectives in France, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Belgium are sifting through cold case files involving youngsters, but there have been no major breakthroughs that link them to Brückner.
Speaking to Spanish daily newspaper ABC, the unnamed Portuguese official, who claims to still be a serving officer, but is not working on the case said: “People talk about surprises in the Madeleine McCann case with the capture of this German man, but for me it’s no surprise.
“This individual was already investigated around four years ago. There’s no evidence Christian Brückner is involved in her disappearance.”
German officials are still looking for a forensic breakthrough that could implicate Brückner in the disappearance, but hopes of finding anything in his old white and yellow VW T3 Westfalia campervan appeared to be dashed last night as the Telegraph discovered that more than 50 people have been in the vehicle since he last used it.
The son of a scrapyard owner, who bought the van off Brückner, used it to ferry his friends and family around the Algarve, hosting parties, drinking, smoking and sleeping in the “top of the range” vehicle.
Officers only seized it in 2019, some 12 years after it was seen around Praia da Luz when Madeleine went missing.
Dr James Barker, lecturer in forensic science at Kingston University said the sheer number of people who had been in the van “makes things a lot more complicated”.
“It makes things harder, and the longer time goes by the harder things get. If the van was in hot or wet conditions, DNA can degrade and wash away.”
Linda Brownlow, principal forensic science lecturer at the University of Greenwich added: “DNA from those 50 people could itself be left behind over the top of Madeleine’s – thereby confusing her original profile.”
In Germany, the father of Rene Hasee, a six-year-old boy, who went missing in 1996 while on holiday in the Algarve, said he had been told by the Federal Criminal Police Office in Germany that they were reopening the investigation. At that time, Brückner, just 20, was living in the region.
But on Monday (June 8), officials said they “see no new evidence or connections” between Rene’s disappearance and Madeleine’s.
Police said they were “sorry” they could not find a connection and understood that Rene’s father “clings to every straw” about his son’s death.
In Hanover, a senior prosecutor from the public prosecutor’s office was also forced to publicly state that there is “no connection” with Brückner and the murder of a prostitute in the city in 2010.
According to the Daily Mail, Brückner was a suspect into the death of Monika Pawlak, who was found dismembered ten years ago.
Brückner was required to take a DNA test in relation to the murder, the German newspaper Bild reported, but the sample came back negative.
Hanover’s senior prosecutor Thomas Klinge said: “This has been thoroughly investigated. No connection could be established.”
But the allegations of wrongdoing against the career criminal with 17 convictions continue to pile up.
A former friend of Brückner, Lenta Johlitz claimed that he had a “very small” 17-year-old girlfriend when he was 37-year-old who she alleges he physically assaulted while he was living in Braunschweig