Kate and Gerry McCann hold an age-progressed police image of Madeleine during a news conference in London to mark the 5th anniversary of her disappearance in May 2012.
A toddler went missing in 2007: A look back at Madeleine McCann's investigation
02:12 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

A German prosecutor has said he is “sure” that Madeleine McCann – the British girl who disappeared from a resort in Portugal in 2007 at the age of three – was killed by suspect Christian Brückner.

Hans Christian Wolters, who is investigating the case, told Portuguese broadcaster CMTV on Tuesday that investigators had found “new evidence” that connects Brückner, who is a convicted rapist and child sex abuser, to the child’s disappearance. Brückner is yet to be charged.

“The investigation is still going, and I think we found some new facts, some new evidence, not forensic evidences, but some evidence,” Wolters told the broadcaster.

“We are sure he is the murderer of Madeleine McCann,” he said.

FILE - This undated family photo shows Madeleine McCann. The parents of Madeleine McCann, a British toddler who vanished from an apartment during her family's vacation in Portugal 15 years ago and captured global interest, say they remain hopeful that efforts by police in three countries to solve the mystery will eventually bring answers. Kate and Gerry McCann, both British doctors living in England, said in a statement to mark the anniversary of their daughter's disappearance Tuesday, May 3, 2022 that "a truly horrific crime" was committed in 2007. (Family Photo via AP, File)
Reporter asks prosecutor about new reported evidence in McCann case
03:31 - Source: CNN

Wolters was speaking on the 15th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine – who was also affectionately known by the name Maddie – from a holiday resort in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve region, on May 3, 2007.

She went missing from a hotel room during the evening, while her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were dining at a nearby restaurant.

This  picture released by the McCann family shows Madeleine on May 3, 2007, on the same day she went missing.

Searching for the truth

Last month, Portuguese and German officials named Brückner, who is German but lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007, as an official suspect.

It was in 2020 that prosecutors first said that they suspected Brückner – who due to German privacy laws they refer to as Christian B – had been involved in Madeleine’s disappearance. They said at the time they believed the child was dead.

It was the first time Portuguese prosecutors identified a formal suspect in the case since clearing Kate and Gerry McCann, who were initially named as suspects in 2007.

This image of Christian
Brückner was issued by Italian police in 2020 related to different charges.

In a statement published on April 22, after Portuguese and German officials named Brückner as the official suspect in the case, Kate and Gerry McCann said they “welcomed” the news, as it indicated “progress” in the investigation.

“Even though the possibility may be slim, we have not given up hope that Madeleine is still alive and we will be reunited with her,” the couple said on the website set up in their search for Madeleine.

Brückner, who is 45, had previously said he had been with his then-girlfriend during the whole night on which Madeleine went missing, but Wolters told CMTV he had “no alibi.”

When asked if his team of investigators had found “something belonging to Maddie” in Brückner’s caravan, where he lived at the time, Wolters said he couldn’t comment on any details, but added: “I don’t want to deny it.”

Brückner is currently in jail in Germany for raping a woman in the same area of the Algarve region where Madeleine went missing in 2007.

He has been connected to a string of other crimes. According to documents seen by Reuters, he burgled hotels and holiday flats, and was also caught stealing diesel from a Portuguese harbor and falsifying passports.

CNN’s Benjamin Brown, Vasco Cotovio, Jack Guy and Fred Pleitgen contributed to this story.