A KEY Madeleine McCann case witness has sensationally identified suspect Christian B as the man she saw acting suspiciously outside the McCanns’ apartment.
When shown a picture of the paedophile, the British woman — quizzed at the time of the abduction — said: “That’s the man I saw.”
She has been left “chilled” by revelations putting the convicted child sex fiend at the centre of the case.
The woman reported the sighting within hours of three-year-old Madeleine’s disappearance on May 3, 2007, and has always been viewed as a credible witness.
Her confirmation came amid claims of glaring blunders by Judicial Police feared to have let the beast cheat justice.
The Sun understands from another British witness that Portuguese detectives circulated a photograph of Christian B years ago but failed to act.
The second woman saw the image in 2007, and also confirmed it was a man she had seen behaving bizarrely in the days after Madeleine went missing.
A Portuguese investigative source said: “It would appear Christian B's name and background were known to police all along.
“They showed his picture to at least one witness who positively identified him near the scene yet nothing appears to have been followed up.
“It beggars belief that the McCanns have been allowed to endure so much pain for so long.
“The Judicial Police appear to have been more interested in pinning the blame on them rather than acting on clear evidence.”
A Sun trawl of witness statements all pointed to a man matching the paedophile's description.
A man and van like his were spotted several times before Madeleine went missing from the Ocean Club apartment in Praia da Luz.
Archived statements also describe a tall, slim, white man staring at the block days before she vanished.
Tasmin Sillence, 12 at the time, told police she saw a white man in dark glasses with his gaze fixed on the complex.
Moments later, she looked up and saw a girl around Madeleine’s age on a sun deck in the same block.
Tasmin provided police with the photofit picture circulated at the time which bears a striking resemblance to Christian B, 43.
It would appear Christian B's name and background were known to police all along.Portuguese investigative source
She told Judicial Police she was walking to school at 8am on April 30 when she first saw the man at the rear of the family’s apartment.
Her statement said the man was staring at the empty balcony.
On May 2, she saw the same man on her way back from a supermarket.
Police records state: “She saw the man, this time in front of the Ocean Club reception, once more looking at Madeleine’s house.”
Tasmin, who is British and is still believed to live in the area, described the man as light-skinned, and around 5ft 9in, clean-shaven with short, possibly blond hair.
She added that his face was pockmarked, he looked “ugly” and was casually dressed and wearing large-framed sunglasses.
Carole Tranmer, 72, gave Portuguese and Leicestershire police a description which uncannily matched that of Christian B in 2008.
She was visiting a property in the Ocean Club block when she spotted a suspicious blond man as he left a garden hours before Madeleine vanished on May 3.
She told police: “I would recognise him. It was his furtiveness that called my attention.
“I saw someone leave the apartment of the first floor, closing the gate very gently. It appeared very strange.
“He did this as though he wanted to make the minimum amount of noise, that is stealthily, and as if he did not want anyone to know that he was coming or going.
“He was 30 to 35, light-skinned, no freckles, he was not sunburned, he was not dark, he was a light colour.”
I saw someone leave the apartment of the first floor, closing the gate very gently. It appeared very strange.Carole Tranmer
Police are also probing claims that suspect Christian B may have had an accomplice.
Derek Flack, from Essex, provided a statement after spotting a dark-skinned man acting suspiciously on May 2 or 3 opposite another man with a white van.
The pair were yards from Madeleine’s flat when they were seen by Mr Flack and his wife.
Judicial Police statements provided by Mr Flack said he saw a dark-skinned man with stubble and short dark hair in a yellow T-shirt.
The man was “was standing at the corner of the path watching in the direction of the apartment that Madeleine would later disappear from.”
Mr Flack said the man’s van was possibly an Opel.
Christian B, jailed for the rape of a 72-year-old woman in Praia 18 months before Madeleine vanished, is described by German police as pale, blond and 6ft.
At the time of her disappearance, he was seen driving a VW T3 Westfalia Camper van, as well as a grey Jaguar.
The statements support German prosecutors’ claims that Madeleine may have been stalked for at least four days.
Police stepped up the hunt for the mystery caller who phoned Christian B for 30 minutes on the night of the snatch. The caller’s number was registered to the Portuguese name Diogo Silva.
Christian B also had a long history of petty crime including burglary and drug dealing.
In April 2007, two burglaries were reported in Block Five at the Ocean Club.
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A holidaymaker also reported a man calling and asking if a family from Germany was at one home while “casing” premises.
The suspect’s description was similar to that of paedophile Christian B.
The fiend spent 1999 to 2006 living in a farmhouse on Black Rock hill outside Praia. The spot is a four-minute drive from Ocean Club and Christian B would have been familiar with nearby scrubland.