A secret “Maddie summit” has taken place between British, German and Portuguese police as they hunt for evidence against their prime suspect.
Detectives met in Lisbon to “fine-tune” Christian Brueckner’s profile in a bid to discover where Madeleine McCann’s body could be buried.
The British youngster vanished from her parents’ holiday apartment at the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz in May 2007.
German prosecutors say they are sure Brueckner, a convicted paedophile, abducted and murdered her.
But despite previously claiming to have proof Madeleine is dead, they now say they do not have enough evidence to even quiz him.
The recent summit in Lisbon involved senior detectives from Scotland Yard, the Policia Judiciaria and Bundeskriminalamt.
German detectives shared details of interviews carried out with Brueckner’s associates, including his British ex-girlfriend.
We revealed last month how the Berkshire-born mum of two was interviewed for 12 hours in Faro in August.
She dated Brueckner several years before Madeleine’s disappearance and told detectives how he brutally beat and stalked her.
Details of the recent meeting between the three police forces were reported in newspaper Correio de Manha.
It said: “Portuguese, British and German authorities haven’t given up and are continuing to try to gather information about the suspect’s past.”
Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said without new clues, the 43-year-old will never be quizzed over missing Madeleine.
Brueckner is coming to the end of a 21-month prison sentence in a German jail for drug trafficking.
But he faces at least four more years behind bars after recently losing a legal battle over a conviction for raping a pensioner in Praia da Luz.