The prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann suspect drank 'copious amounts of beer' it has been revealed - as police announced they have started a preliminary investigation into another missing girl.

The Mirror has uncovered details of Christian Brueckner’s life in and around the Lower Saxony region.

We found his local bar the SpeisgaststatteKobbe, where he was a regular and drank “copious amounts of beer.”

One associate said: “He was in there all the time and often had too much to drink.”

Eight years after Madeleine McCann went missing from a holiday apartment, Inga Gehricke wandered off in a forest to collect wood for a fire on a family camping trip and was never seen again.

And it is alleged the man now being treated as the main suspect in both cases, Christian Brueckner, shared a sickening fantasy about the kidnap and sexual abuse of a child in an online chatroom in September 2013.

Madeleine went missing 13 years ago from her family's holiday apartment

A German media investigation published information from documents which allegedly reveal that Brueckner said he wanted to “capture something small and use it for days”.

When the person in the chatroom objected that this was dangerous, Brueckner replied: “Oh, if the evidence is destroyed afterwards.”

Pictures of five-year-old Inga show a little girl who looks strikingly similar to Madeleine, who was about to turn four when she vanished in 2007.

When Inga went missing near Stendal, in Saxony-Anhalt, convicted paedophile Brueckner was living in a derelict farm on the outskirts of Neuwegersleben, 45 miles away. He was quizzed by police, but released.

Last night the public prosecutor in Stendal said police were now investigating “connections” between the cases involving Madeleine and Inga.

German police this week said Brueckner, originally from Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, was the main suspect for Madeleine’s abduction.

They also believe she is dead and consider it a “murder case”, unlike Scotland Yard, who are still treating it as a missing person’s case.

Inga Gehricke who vanished from a forest in Saxony-Anhalt near the German town of Stendal in May 2015

Madeleine went missing during a holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, and Inga on May 2, 2015, the day before the eighth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.

Stendal Public Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Birte Iliev said: “It is now being examined whether there is any new evidence in connection with the murder suspect in Braunschweig.”

The German legal system never uses people’s names, but it is understood the “suspect” is Brueckner.

Inga’s parents Victoria, an artist, and Jens-Uwe, a social worker, were distraught the investigation ended early.

The disappearance led to the break-up of their marriage.

The lawyer representing the family demands Brueckner, who is in jail in Kiel, northern Germany, is quizzed again. Petra Küllmei said: “Just a day before Inga disappeared near Stendal, Christian B. was seen nearby on the A2. The file was closed again only four weeks after starting work. I think that’s not very ambitious.”

Brueckner’s home, a derelict farmhouse and caravan at the end of a lane in remote countryside, was searched by police investigating Inga’s disappearance.

Mirror's Andy Lines outside the apartments in Braunschweig, Northern Germany Where convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner lived

Police said they had found images of child sexual abuse in Brueckner’s home and charged him in connection with this, but nothing else.

The day before Inga went missing Brueckner’s vehicle was involved in a minor crash at motorway services near the spot where she wandered off.

It emerged this week that Brueckner was in jail after being convicted of raping a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz two years before Madeleine went missing.

Brueckner’s possible involvement in Madeleine’s case was reported to police after a chat in a bar where he was watching a TV programme about the 10th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance. It is claimed that he said something “to suggest he knew what had happened to her”.

The Mirror has uncovered details of Brueckner’s life in and around the Lower Saxony region.

We found his local bar the ­Speisgaststatte Kobbe, where he was a regular and drank “copious amounts of beer.” One associate said: “He was in there all the time and often had too much to drink.”

The farmhouse and grounds in the village of Neuwegerslebn where paedophile Christian Brueckner was living when it was raided

His property near Neuwegersleben, his last address before being jailed, had been used as a base for a wooden pallet business. Brueckner lived in a caravan and the derelict farmhouse on the site. Police are expected to return to the property to search it again in the coming days.

Neighbours in the nearest houses said at one stage Brueckner had as many as 14 cars on the site as well as the caravan, parked next to ­abandoned, ruined buildings.

He had told them he had bought the land from the factory owners.

They told of their shock at learning he was a suspect in the Madeleine and Inga cases yesterday.

One said: “If it’s true he should go to prison for a very long time and they should never let him out.

“He was quiet, he would say hello and wave – he would be there for a few weeks and then go again. He had a girlfriend and a male friend who visited. When the police came he wasn’t there but they searched everywhere, they were here for more than a week.

“It is sad for the families of the little girls.”

In Braunschweig, we found both his apartment and the bar which he had managed in a quiet suburb.

The McCann's apartment block at the Ocean Club resort in Praia Da Luz

The bar is closed now with a cracked glass front door and the word “Trash” scrawled in graffiti nearby. Brueckner ran it with his girlfriend – who was from Kosovo. Friends claimed he used to attack her.

One pal said: “He was often very aggressive.

“He was very bad with women.

“He had a young ­girlfriend who came from Kosovo. He always beat them. Once she even had strangle marks on her neck. ”

Others said drug and drink-fuelled parties were held in the back room after closing time.

A friend, Norbert, said: “He let the kiosk bar run down. Parties were celebrated in the back, with lots of alcohol and probably also drug addicts. Everything was filthy.

“And at the front, the offers got smaller and smaller, and customers were annoyed. If you asked Christian about it, he reacted aggressively.”

New Madeleine McCann prime suspect

Norbert bought the franchise from Brueckner and ended up with a series of threatening rows.

He said: “He wanted to take a freezer and the air conditioning with him, even though he didn’t own it. He was very aggressive. A little later he showed up here with some acquaintances. One of them threatened me with a knife.”

Brueckner has 19 entries in the German criminal register.

His convictions include “driving without a licence, bodily injury, grand theft and drunken at the wheel”, “abusing a child”, “performing sexual acts in front of a child” and “dealing in narcotics in no small quantity”.

His last conviction was in December in Braunschweig for raping the 72-year-old woman in 2005.

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@andylines