German prosecutors have claimed that there is material evidence that Madeleine McCann is dead.
Speaking to Portuguese broadcaster RTP on Tuesday, public prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said investigators had evidence that the British girl who was abducted from a holiday resort in Portugal in 2007 had died.
When asked there was any material evidence that Madeleine, who was three years old when she disappeared, is dead, Mr Wolters replied: “Yes.”
However, he refused to elaborate when asked what evidence he had.
Mr Wolters said in June he believed that Madeleine was dead and had identified convicted paedophile and rapist Christian Brueckner as a prime suspect in the case.
Brueckner, who is currently serving a sentence for drug trafficking in north Germany, insists he was not involved in Madeleine’s disappearance. He is appealing against a conviction for rape in 2005.
His lawyer, Friedrich Fulscher, told The Sun on Monday he had proof that Bruckner was innocent and that German authorities had the wrong man.
Watch: Video of suspect before McCann disappearance
According to the newspaper, Mr Wolters admitted there was “no smoking gun” evidence against the suspect in an interview with Portuguese TV show Sexta às 9 last Friday.
He said: “All I can say is this [is] like a puzzle and there are many pieces that lead us to believe Christian B is responsible.”
In July, police searched an allotment in Germany near where Brueckner used to live. He formerly lived in both Hanover and Braunschweig, under an hour’s drive from the allotment.
It emerged last week that police had been searching for computer memory sticks in the allotment, believed to have been used by the suspect, but prosecutors declined to say if any had been found, reported The Times.
In 2016, police uncovered memory sticks during a separate search of a former factory 30 miles from Braunschweig. The devices contained more than 8,000 files, including media files showing the abuse of minors.
The files also included about 100 pictures of Brueckner partly nude.