Convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner was flagged as a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance 12 years ago – but was inexplicably ruled out.

Brueckner, with child abuse convictions dating from 1994, was identified as a person of interest after Madeleine vanished.

But the then lead Portuguese investigator in the case, Goncalo Amaral, has claimed Brueckner was ruled out of the inquiry in 2008.

Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange said Brueckner was mentioned in files handed to them during a review in 2011.

He had lived in Praia da Luz for 12 years after fleeing to Portugal to escape German police.

Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007

In 2006, thieves stole a camera showing a brutal rape, which eventually led police to him.

Cops have revealed he received a mystery half-hour call in Praia da Luz just over an hour before Madeleine’s abduction on May 3, 2007.

He is suspected of burgling hotels and holiday homes in the area as well as dealing drugs.

New Madeleine McCann prime suspect

He is alleged to have confessed to kidnapping Madeleine in a German bar on the 10th anniversary of her disappearance.

He and a pal were watching a TV news report on the case in 2017 when he allegedly said he knew what had happened to her.

He is said to have boasted he “snatched her”.

Brueckner is also alleged to have shown a video of him raping a woman. That is said to have led to him being convicted for the rape of a woman, 72, in Praia da Luz.