Searches of a reservoir for Madeleine McCann were sparked after police found pictures of the area on Christian Brueckner’s computer, it has been claimed.
Portuguese media reported that detectives discovered snaps taken at the isolated Barragem do Arade on the suspect’s seized laptop.
Another report said the material was found in 2016 on a USB stick buried in the German paedophile’s “secret lair” in a derelict factory.
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Maddie’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann’s lawyer Rogerio Alves said cops are “looking for traces of the presence of her body”. British officers were also on the ground as the search got under way at the remote Arade Dam near Silves in Portugal today (Tuesday, May 23).
The dam is 30 miles from the rented holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz from which Madeleine – then threea year old – disappeared in 2007.
The McCanns will be “kept informed every step of the way of any development“ by Scotland Yard officers monitoring the German police-directed probe, their former spokesman Clarence Mitchell said.
He added: “Until a body is found and it is proved to be Madeleine’s, Kate and Gerry are not giving up hope. It is another desperately difficult time for them.”
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The Home Office yesterday pledged another £110,000 to keep Scotland Yard’s search for the youngster going for another year.
Jim Gamble, a former Met Police officer who headed up Operation Grange – the UK’s own investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance – said the search represented the "best chance we’ve had in 16 years to find out what happened to Madeleine”.
The German police “must have something definitive," he said.
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“Having worked with German police it grabbed my attention when the prosecutor was so sure in his assessment Madeleine was dead.
“They are obviously keeping what they have close to their chest and they don’t want to lose the evidential edge.”
He explained: “German authorities, prosecutors and investigators are normally very conservative – so when they do say something definitive you know they have the additional information.
“They have been absolutely adamant on two things, one, they have the right suspect, and two, that Madeleine is dead.”
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