Madeleine McCann disappearance: Case could be solved in months - investigators

Christian Brueckner is the prime suspect in the case.
Christian Brueckner is the prime suspect in the case. Photo credit: Getty Images

A German prosecutor leading an investigation into the lead suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann believes the case could be solved within months.

Hans Christian Wolters, who has been leading the probe into key suspect Christian Brueckner over the past year, says he's pleased with how the investigation is going and his team has received "very interesting tips".

Brueckner, a convicted paedophile, hasn't yet been questioned by prosecutors and will instead be interviewed at the end of the investigation.

"We hope we can solve the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, although this will take several months," Wolters told The Mirror.

"We are pleased with the response to our appeal for witnesses, but ­unfortunately not all our questions have been answered."

Brueckner was living in a campervan close to Praia da Luz on Portugal's Algarve when three-year-old Madeleine disappeared in May 2007. He was announced as the prime suspect in June last year, despite police in Germany and the United Kingdom becoming aware of him in 2017.

Investigators said last year Brueckner made a phone call just before Madeleine's disappearance near the tapas bar her parents were at. 

Wolters, who believes Madeleine is dead, said his team of investigators still haven't found the person he called that night. He also revealed authorities haven't spoken to Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry. The pair haven't given up hope their daughter is alive.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 02:  Kate and Gerry McCann hold an age-progressed police image of their daughter during a news conference to mark the 5th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, on May 2, 2012 in London, England. The McCann's today stated that there is "no doubt" that authorities will re-open the investigation into their daughter's disappearance. Three-year-old Madeleine went missing while on holiday with her parents in the Algarve region of Portugal in May 2007.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty Images

Former friends of Brueckner told The Mirror last week they fear he won't be charged over the three-year-old's disappearance.

One says they can't believe "nothing seems to have happened" in the year since the investigation started.

"For those of us who were close to him here in Portugal, our lives were torn apart when he was named as a suspect. The more we remembered about him and read about his past, the more we believed he was the man responsible for taking Madeleine," they said.

"It's crazy the German cops haven't been to see Chris in prison or interviewed him. We're scared he'll never face justice and will have to be freed and could then come back here."

Brueckner denies being involved in Madeleine's disappearance and refuses to speak to police or prosecutors.

He is currently in a German jail serving a seven-year sentence for raping a 72-year-old American in Praia da Luz and he is suspected of raping another woman in 2004 near the resort Madeleine disappeared from.