Kate and Gerry McCann said they still had not given up hope that they would be reunited with Madeleine who disappeared from her family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, a resort in Portugal, on May 3 in 2007, days before her fourth birthday.
Portuguese prosecutors declared German Christian Brueckner – a convicted rapist – as an “arguido”, or person of interest, in coordination with English investigators and at request of German authorities – who named Brueckner as a suspect in 2022.
“We welcome the news that the Portuguese authorities have declared a German man an ‘arguido’ in relation to the disappearance of our beloved daughter Madeleine,” the McCann’s said in a statement.
“This reflects progress in the investigation, being conducted by the Portuguese, German and British authorities.
“It is important to note the ‘arguido’ has not yet been charged with any specific crime related to Madeleine’s disappearance.
“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.”
It’s the first time Portuguese prosecutors have named a formal suspect since the McCanns were named and investigated in 2007. They were later cleared.
Brueckner, 45, is serving a sentence on drug offences in a German prison and has a pending seven-year sentence for the 2005 rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Portugal.
The rape also took place in Praia da Luz.
Investigators in the nearby town of Portimao are leading the probe with the assistance of the Judiciary Police, the prosecutors’ statement said.