The investigation into a suspect in the case of Madeleine McCann could be closed in the New Year as prosecutors run into a “brick wall”, it has been reported.
According to The Sun, police sources in Portugal revealed that German investigators have been “struggling” for weeks to find fresh evidence against Christian Brueckner, who is the prime suspect in the 2007 abduction of Madeleine.
Portuguese police also reportedly believe the investigation into Brueckner has wasted precious time as they ruled him out as a suspect shortly after the four-year-old girl went missing from a resort in Praia da Luz.
A source close to the investigation was quoted by the newspaper as saying: “The game is almost up for the officers investigating Christian B.
“They’ve been struggling now for many weeks to find new clues. Leads have dried up catastrophically and there are not hardly any new lines of enquiry at all.”
The source added that the lack of new clues came as no surprise to the Portuguese team who worked on the original investigation as they “believed for a long time that the investigation into B is effectively a wild goose chase”.
The investigative team in Portugal believe the focus should “now be on finding the person who actually took Madeleine”, said the source.
The 43-year-old Brueckner, who was extradited from Italy to Germany in 2018 on an arrest warrant for drug trafficking, is currently serving a 21-month sentence in the German city of Kiel.
In September, the European Court of Justice rejected the suspect’s bid for early jail release, which means he will serve a further seven years for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in 2005 after his drug trafficking sentence ends on 7 January 2021.
German prosecutors, led by Hans Christian Wolters, insisted last month that there was “material evidence” that Madeleine is dead, but authorities do not yet have enough evidence to hold Brueckner in prison for her disappearance.
Brueckner’s lawyer, Friedrich Fulscher, previously told The Sun he had proof that his client was innocent and that German authorities had the wrong man.
Two weeks ago, he called on prosecutors to “show their cards” and share the “concrete evidence” they have that proves Madeleine is dead. Mr Fulscher claims prosecutors have so far refused to reveal the evidence.
He said it was “no secret” that the Portuguese police have a “different theory” about the case, and insisted the German prosecution could disprove that theory “when they finally put their cards on the table”.
Watch: Video of suspect before McCann disappearance