COPS have reopened an investigation into a child sex crime linked to the Madeleine McCann prime suspect.
Christian B, 43, was arrested in Portugal for allegedly exposing himself to children in a playground near Praia da Luz, where Madeleine disappeared.
He was caught with his trousers down under a slide in San Bartolomeu de Messines, which is 40 miles from the Algarve resort.
But the convicted paedophile and rapist was extradited back to his native Germany for child sex crimes before he could be charged and the investigation was sidelined.
Portuguese officials have now confirmed the inquiry had been reopened following criticism, the Mirror reports.
“The investigation is currently ongoing,” said a spokesman for the the Attorney General’s office.
Christian B was first convicted aged just 17 in Bavaria in 1994 for “abusing a child” and “performing sex acts in front of a child”.
Earlier this year he was named as the prime suspect in the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine, who on holiday with her parents in 2007 when she vanished.
He was living in a campervan nearby at the time and had a long history of committing sex offences.
In 1994, the Würzburg district court sentenced the then 17-year-old to two years, of which he served only part, and moved to northern Germany, dealing drugs and stealing.
Sources said police were not aware of his 1994 conviction for child sex abuse when he was arrested in 2017.
Prosecutors have “a different understanding” of Christian B “than they did three or four years ago,” said a source.
The mum of eight-year-old - who Christian B exposed himself to - told Portuguese TV broadcaster RTP: “If he had snatched one of the children and put them in his van, we might never have seen them again.
“He could have gone anywhere. It’s still something that haunts me. I was left feeling very frightened. I think we were very lucky.”
Nelia Bras, mum of one of the youngsters Christian B allegedly pleasured himself in front of, added: “My daughter was eight at the time. He spoke to her in English and asked her, ‘What’s your name?’
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“It’s very traumatic knowing that someone who’s been linked to so many cases and is perhaps a very dangerous man was so close to my little girl".
After fleeing to Portugal in 1995, Christian B was extradited back to Germany the following year to serve a youth sentence but returned to the Algarve after his release.
He left Portugal again in 2007 and is thought to have spent the next few years between there and Germany.