Madeleine McCann detectives have been given new evidence to bolster their case against the prime suspect.
Investigators are reportedly hoping to charge German paedophile Christian Brueckner by the end of the summer.
The 44-year-old, who is currently serving time in prison on rape and drugs convictions, has a history of child sex offences and was living in the Praia da Luz area in Portugal at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.
Hans Christian Wolters, the German prosecutor leading the investigation, is now more optimistic of a breakthrough.
He told The Sun: “We have gathered new evidence that adds further to the case we are building against our main suspect.
“I’m afraid I cannot tell you what it is but it strengthens our work.
“We are still building the case and at some time in the future we shall share the details with the suspect and his lawyer — but now is not the time.
“I cannot disclose the type of evidence we have been given, it is not forensic I can tell you that but it is new circumstantial evidence which all adds to the working theory that he is the man responsible.”
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Mr Wolters added: “I am optimistic that we will solve this case.”
Another witness is set to take part in a reconstruction at the resort where Madeleine vanished.
It will form part of a summit between the Met Police along with German and Portuguese officers.
Mr Wolters said officers had uncovered “a lot of evidence” that Brueckner is guilty, but he was “forbidden” from providing details.
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Cops are reportedly starting a push to unearth what they have referred to as the “missing piece of the jigsaw”.
Portuguese and German investigators will also carry out new interviews of key witnesses in the Algarve who knew him.
Madeleine would have celebrated her 18th birthday yesterday on May 12.
Last month,parents Kate and Gerry McCann said they still think they will be reunited with her– because they “believe in miracles”.
The heartbroken parents said: “Never stop believing in hope because miracles happen every day.”
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