Police have moved a major step closer towards solving the disappearance of Madeleine McCann after making a German man a “formal suspect.”
The 44-year-old man was already identified as a murder suspect by German prosecutors in June 2020.
However, he was never charged.
Investigators believe the convicted sex offender killed Madeleine, then aged three, after abducting her from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007.
It is thought the move to make him a formal suspect is linked to the Portugal’s statute of limitations on prison sentences.
In this case it does not generally allow crimes that carry a maximum prison sentence to be prosecuted more than 15 years after they were committed.
This would mean that the man linked to the Maddie case could no longer be charged in Portugal after 3 May.
The Portimao section of the Faro department of criminal investigation and prosecution said that a person was made an “arguido”, which translates as “named suspect” or “formal suspect”, on Wednesday.
The statement did not name the man, but said the person was made an “arguido” by German authorities at the request of Portugal’s public prosecution service.
It said the investigation has been carried out with the co-operation of the English and German authorities.
Maddie had strong links with Donegal as her grandmother Eileen was from the county and the little girl even holidayed here with her family before she tragically disappeared.