THE German man suspected of kidnapping Madeleine McCann has been named and his picture has been released for the first time.

Child sex offender Christian Brueckner has been identified as a suspect, with his picture being released to the public for the first time.

The man is described as white with short blond hair, about 6ft tall and with a slim build, at the time when McCann vanished in 2007.

Christian Hoppe, from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), told the ZDF television channel that the 43-year-old is serving a prison sentence for a sex crime and has two previous convictions for ‘sexual contact with girls’.

According to German newspaper, Braunschweiger Zeitung, Brueckner was carrying out a seven year prison sentence for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Portugal in 2005.

Hoppe has added that the German police have not yet ruled out a sexual motive for the alleged crime against the British toddler.

A spokesperson for Germany’s Public Prosecution Office said in a press conference earlier today: “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 a 43-year-old German man on suspicion of murder.

“We are assuming that the girl is dead.

“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.”

The spokesperson also added that the suspect was regularly living in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007.

This comes as Madeleine’s mother, Kate McCann, wrote about fears over ‘German paedophiles’ in her book regarding her daughter’s disappearance nearly a decade ago.

The mystery surrounding Maddie’s disappearance has reached every corner of the globe during the last 13 years, with Netflix even producing a documentary about it last year, with the Olive Press being featured in the first two episodes.

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