Crimestoppers is offering its largest ever reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the murder of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel in Liverpool as police described the killer as ‘toxic’.
The nine-year-old was shot during a struggle when a gunman chased another man into her home on 22 August.
Olivia’s mother Cheryl Korbel was shot in the wrist as she tried to shut the door and her daughter suffered a fatal shot to her chest.
Merseyside Police has made nine arrests as part of the investigation but no charges have been brought.
The record £200,000 reward offered on Wednesday is made up of a £100,000 sum offered by a private donor, which the charity's founder Lord Ashcroft has matched.It is the biggest single reward offer in its history.
In a press conference the officer in charge of the murder investigation described the killer as ‘toxic’ and a ‘stain’ on the community.
Investigators also identified two guns used in the shooting - a .38 revolver that killed Olivia, and a Glock 9mm pistol that has been used in three attacks in Merseyside over a two-and-a-half-year period.
Merseyside Detective Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen also appealed for patience as the force investigates the murder of the nine-year-old .
All those arrested so far but all have been released under investigation.
He said: “I recognise that people will wonder and question why no one has been charged despite those arrests.
“If I could reassure you that this is normal practice in any complex investigation, the threshold for arresting somebody is far lower than that of charging someone. Please be patient with us. The investigation is progressing.
“The detectives involved in bringing justice for Olivia and her family are working tirelessly with real care and passion to achieve the objective of securing those charges against everyone involved in her murder. No matter how small their role.”
Officers in the investigation have worked more than 15,000 hours, trawled through thousands of hours of CCTV and investigated more than 400 pieces of intelligence passed on by the public.
He added: “These people have crossed the line. This toxic individual robbed Olivia of her future. The family will carry the trauma of losing Olivia for the rest of her life. We have identified the two weapons. One is a .38 revolver the other is a Glock 9mm self loading pistol.”
The officer said the revolver had been used in the killing of Olivia. Meanwhile the Glock was used in three criminal incidents.
On people covering for the killer he warned: “Your loyalty to this man is utterly misplaced. This man is toxic to our community.”
People can contact Crimestoppers anonymously us via its website or on 0800 555 111.More follows.