The German paedophile suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann may never face court over the crime.
The warning comes from the prosecutor leading the inquiry into Christian Brueckner’s alleged links to the three-year-old’s disappearance in Portugal in 2007.
Hans Christian Wolters said there was no “forensic evidence” and what other clues they had were “not enough to get an arrest warrant”.
Wolters said he was “hopeful” missing evidence would be found for police to charge and interrogate Brueckner, 43, but added: “At the moment our evidence is strong, but not so strong we are sure he will be sentenced by the court.”
It’s an about-turn from the prosecutor, who has previously claimed police had “concrete” evidence that Madeleine is dead.
It is understood her parents Kate and Gerry have not been told what the evidence is and the Metropolitan Police in London is still treating the case, which has now cost £12million, as a missing persons inquiry.
Wolters told the They’ve Taken Her podcast: “Maybe we need more witnesses or we need some photos or video.”
A friend of the McCann family said yesterday: “It feels like he is trying to lower expectations after coming out all guns blazing. It’s heartbreaking.”
Wolters also said that if Brueckner is ever charged in relation to Madeleine’s disappearance, it could now be hard for him to have a fair trial following worldwide publicity.
Bruecker, a drifter convicted of child pornography offences and rape, is serving a drugs jail term in Kiel, Germany.
Police are reportedly searching for two Russian men – thought to be brothers – who they believe spoke to Brueckner in the spring of 2007, before Madeleine disappeared from a holiday villa in Praia da Luz.
At the time, he lived near the Algarve resort where the three-year-old was snatched while her parents were eating dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Brueckner’s lawyer insists his client is innocent.