Madeleine McCann murder suspect Christian Brueckner is now being investigated in connection with four child disappearances, according to reports.

Police in Belgium are trying to establish whether there was a link between the 43-year-old paedophile and the death of Carola Titze, who was just 16 when she was killed.

Since he was named as a suspect in Madeleine's 2007 disappearance, he has also reportedly been linked with the disappearance of René Hasse, six, in the Algarve in 1996, and that of five-year-old Inga Gehricke in 2015.

Carola's mutilated body was found in sand dunes in De Haan, West Flanders, where she was on holiday with her family.

In the days before she was killed, she had been to a disco with a mystery German man, who has never been located.

Christian Brueckner is now linked to four child murders

Commenting on the latest investigation into Madeleine's alleged killing, De Haan's mayor Wilfried Vandaele told VRT: "A shockwave went through our community when the body of Carola Titze was found in woodland in the dunes in 1996.

"Of course, we too want the perpetrator to be found at long last.

"Let's hope the German investigation can provide greater clarity."

René Hasee disappeared in 1996
Police have launched a fresh investigation into the disappearance of Inga Gehricke

Carola died weeks after René disappeared while he was on holiday at the Amoreiras beach in the Algarve - less than 30 miles from Praia da Luz - in 1996.

That case, too, is being reopened in light of the alleged breakthrough in the Madeleine investigation.

René was last seen running towards the sea, and only his clothes have been found since.

Prosecutors are also reportedly taking a fresh look at the abduction of five-year-old Inga Gehricke, who disappeared in Diakoniewerk Wilhelmshof in Saxony-Anhalt in 2015.

Police raided Brueckner's home in February the following year hoping to find evidence linking him to Inga.

Madeleine has been missing for more than 13 years

Although they were unable to prove his involvement at the time, they did discover a large number of child abuse images on a USB stick.

Birte Iliev, a spokesman from the Stendal Public Prosecutor's Office, confirmed that the case has been reopened.

He said: "It is now being examined whether there is any new evidence in connection with the murder suspect in Braunschweig."

Brueckner is serving a seven year sentence for raping a 72-year-old woman in Praia da Luz, close to where Madeleine vanished.

It has been reported that a tip linking Brueckner, 43, with Madeleine's disappearance was not acted on for seven years.

Police in Braunschweig, Germany, received a tip about about Brueckner in 2013 and sent it on to the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation, according to reports.

But local reports say the tip was ignored.

Der Spiegel reported: "One person did submit a tip about Brueckner but the resulting report from police in Braunschweig to the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation was apparently not acted upon, much to the consternation of the local investigators."

Madeleine was abducted from a room in the Ocean Club holiday complex in the area on May 3 2007.

Brueckner is known to have been living in Praia da Luz between 1995 and 2007.

Hans Christian Wolters, a spokesman for the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor's Office, said: "In connection with the disappearance of the three-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann on May 3 2007 from an apartment complex in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, the Braunschweig prosecution is investigating against a 43-year-old German on suspicion of murder.

"We are assuming that the girl is dead.

New Madeleine McCann prime suspect

"With the suspect, we are talking about a sexual predator who has already been convicted of crimes against little girls and he's already serving a long sentence."

He said the suspect was regularly living in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007, where he worked jobs in the gastronomy business, but funded his lifestyle by committing crimes, including thefts in hotel complexes and apartments, as well as drug dealing.

He added: "The Braunschweig prosecution is now concerned because before going abroad he last had his residence in Braunschweig."