Convicted paedo Christian Brueckner has been named a suspect in the Madeleine McCann investigation by Portuguese police.
Portuguese police have informed Brueckner – known in Germany as Christian B – that he is now a formal suspect, or “arguido”, however at the time of writing he has not been charged with anything.
Madeleine McCann went missing from a rented holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007.
Brueckner's lawyer Friedrich Fuelscher said: “The step taken by the Portuguese authorities should not be overrated.
"I assume that this measure is a procedural artifice to stop the statute of limitations threatening in a few days."
In Portugal, there is a 15-year limit to prosecute serious crimes, which is understood to have prompted the country's police into the move so they may "keep their options open".
German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters told Sky News that the move was "apparently only for formal reasons, to prevent a statute of limitations in Portugal".
On May 3 it will be 15 years since Madeleine was reported missing – which is the limit in Portugal for declaring someone a person of interest.
Who is Christian B?
Christian B is a two-time convicted child abuser who is thought to have travelled between Germany and Praia da Luz in a campervan for multiple years leading up to the disappearance of Madeleine.
He is currently in prison for drug offences and has been given a seven-year sentence in Germany after being convicted of raping a 72-year-old woman in 2005 – he has said that in the past he survived by dealing drugs.
The rape occurred in the same town that Maddie McCann went missing in.
In 2020 German police said they were investigating a man, Christian B, in connection with the McCann case.
The German-born drifter in his 40s entered into the investigations after he allegedly said at a bar on the 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance that he had carried out the kidnapping.
Since then, German prosecutors are said to have been building a case, although no charges have yet been brought against him. They say they have a circumstantial but compelling case against the drifter. He denies having anything to do with the disappearance.
A source told Sky: "The legal grounds for making [Christian B] an arguido include the fact that he allegedly confessed to a friend he had snatched Madeleine and mobile phone records placed him in Praia da Luz the night she vanished."
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