Madeleine McCann suspect worked in holiday apartments before she disappeared

Producers of a documentary in Germany have handed evidence to police

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The prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann investigation worked at the holiday apartments in Portugal prior to the three-year-old’s disappearance from there, according to significant new evidence handed to police.

German paedophile Christian B is reported to have been employed by a company that carried out regular repairs at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz shortly before Madeleine vanished in 2007.

Evidence gathered for a documentary on a German television channel, showed the 44 year old drifter was very familiar with the Portuguese resort and surrounding area.

The producers of the documentary, which is due to air on German station Sat.1 tonight, have shared their findings with German investigators.

Under German privacy laws, the man described by authorities as their main suspect, can only be referred to as Christian B.

He is currently serving a seven year jail term in northern Germany for the rape of a 72-year-old American tourist, who was attacked in Praia da Luz in 2005, two years before Madeleine McCann vanished from the resort there.

He was identified as a key suspect in the Madeleine McCann investigation in June 2020.

German police say he lived in Portugal's Algarve holiday area between 1995 and 2007, doing odd jobs, including as a waiter.

But he was also involved in criminality, dealing drugs and burgling local hotel rooms and holiday flats.

The launch of the German end of the investigation followed a tip off from an associate of Christian B, after he allegedly said he knew what happened to Madeleine, during a conversation in a local bar in 2017.

According to German media, the prime suspect has 17 previous convictions, including for theft, forgery, drug-dealing, firearms offences, rape and sexual abuse of children.

Tonight’s documentary will also feature fresh comments from Christian B, written from his prison cell, which deny any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.

The youngster went missing from a ground floor bedroom in the Ocean Club on 3 May 2007, while her parents were having dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Evidence already gathered by law enforcement agencies showed the German was in the Pria da Luz area on the evening Madeleine disappeared.

The German documentary also claims to have detailed Cell site analysis of a phone call he made before she vanished, which put his location within a five minute drive of the Ocean Club complex.

German authorities have said publicly they believe Madeleine has been murdered, but have declined to disclose the evidence they are relying on.

Scotland Yard has spent more than £11 million on an investigation which has run for more than a decade.

That inquiry is still officially a missing persons investigation because UK detectives do not have definitive evidence of whether Madeleine is alive or not.

The witness German documentary makers have spoken to, who confirmed Christian B worked on repairs at the Ocean Club, has not yet spoken to law enforcement officials in Germany or the UK.

German prosecutor Hans Wolters thanked the documentary makers for handing over their dossier.

He said: “We are grateful to the Sat.1 team for sharing certain findings with the public prosecutor's office.

“There are witnesses who might prefer to speak to the media than to us or the police. If this produces any ideas we will of course follow these up.”

Other new evidence being aired in the programme includes a former online friend of Christian B, who said the German revealed paedophile fantasies.

It is claimed he said he wanted to “capture something small and use it for days”.

A former girlfriend of the suspect has also revealed that he was due to visit her home in the Algarve on the night Madeleine disappeared, but he never arrived in the campervan he had been driving at the time.

Nicole Fehlinger revealed he had also told her he liked small bodies on women and liked the bodies of girls before they reached puberty.