Fourteen years after Madeleine McCann went missing, the case could be solved in a matter of months, according to a German prosecutor leading the probe into suspect Christian Brueckner.
Hans Christian Wolters said that his team is "pleased" with how the investigation has progressed over the past year, noting they had received "very interesting tips."
"We hope we can solve the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, although this will take several months," he said, before admitting, "Unfortunately not all our questions have been answered."
Wolters confirmed that Brueckner will be quizzed "at the end of the investigation," adding, "When we have completed our investigations, we will inform the public about the result and then also about further details."
Brueckner, a convicted pedophile, was reportedly living close to Praia da Luz in the Algarve, which is where Madeleine disappeared in May 2007.
Police in Germany and the U.K. reportedly became aware of him as a suspect in 2017, and went public with the information in June 2020. Potential key witnesses in Germany and Portugal have been interviewed since, including Brueckner's ex-girlfriend who claimed he attacked her.
Brueckner denied being involved in Madeleine's disappearance and refused to speak to police or prosecutors.
Last year, it emerged that Brueckner's mobile phone reportedly "pinged" close to the resort the young girl disappeared from — but Wolters said that the team has not tracked down who Brueckner called that night.
Wolters, who believes Madeleine to be dead, said that authorities have not spoken to her parents, Kate and Gerry, about the case. The couple is still hoping their daughter is alive.
As previously reported by OK!, Wolters recently confirmed that new evidence was gathered against the suspect — but could not reveal what it was.
The prosecutor explained that the team is building the case and compiling "details with the suspect and his lawyer" later. Investigators reportedly hope they can charge the suspect by the end of the summer, the Daily Star reported.
"It is not forensic I can tell you that but it is new circumstantial evidence which all adds to the working theory that he is the man responsible," Wolters said of the evidence.
"We have always insisted that the man we identified as the main suspect is the man we believe committed the crime and we are not looking for anyone else," Wolters said, according to The Sun. "We have found no evidence that suggests he is not guilty of this crime and we have found a lot of evidence that suggests he is guilty but I am forbidden to go into these details."
Meanwhile, Brueckner's former friends have expressed concern that he will never be charged. "It’s crazy that the German cops haven’t even been to see Chris in prison or interviewed him," one said.
Former Scotland Yard detective chief inspector Peter Kirkham said he believes the inquiry is "rapidly drying up."
Brueckner is currently in a German jail serving a seven-year sentence for raping a pensioner in Praia da Luz. He is also being investigated for allegedly exposing himself to children in a playground in the Algarve.