The former best friend of the man suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann says he is sure that the German paedophile took the young girl.
In an extraordinary interview with the UK's Daily Telegraph, Michael Tatschl, an Austrian drifter who lived with Christian Brueckner in Portugal said he has sat down with police and told them all about his "sick" and "perverted" friend, who used to brag about his criminal exploits.
Now, he has urged Brueckner to "admit it to the police and close it for good."
With striking neck tattoos, a close cropped haircut and a large piercing on his left nipple, Tatschl spent years travelling across Europe living in camper vans.
Speaking from his home outside Graz, Austria, where he has finally settled, the 46-year-old is adamant.
"I know he did it," he claims.
"I was living with him at the time. He was my best friend and he was definitely a pervert and more than capable of snatching a child, for sexual kicks or money.
"I was sure it was him the minute the police came to find me in Austria.
"They were very clear with me from the first minute. They said 'we are investigating Maddie McCann and Christian Brueckner' and I told them I knew it already. I was convinced it was him."
Speaking for the first time about his old friend, Tatschl described how he became involved with Brueckner in Portugal in the early 2000s.
The pair lived together, drank together and ultimately committed crimes together.
"I was staying at his house and camping in a van in the garden. We spent a lot of time together and had good fun.
"But he was definitely quite a strange character.
"He was always quite criminal. He liked to brag about the crimes he had done and planned to do, and how he aimed to steal as much money as he could until he reached his dream of having €1 million. Then he would stop.
"It was rich pickings there in Praia da Luz. He was always breaking into apartments in the area and bragging about it to me," Tatschl claimed.
"He was a very good burglar and would easily climb up to first floor apartments when tourists were out.
"He would climb up to the first floor and steal everything, lots of money, valuables and so many passports. In fact hundreds of passports and lots of watches. Rolexes and other expensive watches.
"He had a hiding place in the house in the rafters in the roof. He had all the money and passports hidden up there, Tatschl claimed."
The property in question is a farmhouse just outside Praia da Luz which Brueckner rented from a British man. Neighbours said he used to race down the dusty gravel track in his Jaguar and have heated shouting matches with a string of girlfriends. Tatschl said Brueckner was in a relationship with a German woman 20 years his senior at the time.
It is also where a camcorder was discovered that allegedly had footage of Brueckner raping a 72-year-old tourist at a luxury villa in 2005. The video was destroyed, but the testimony of the two men who saw it helped convict Brueckner of the crime last year.
"That's how I found out he was a sick b******.
"It was of this elderly lady who was chained to a wooden post and she was being beaten and raped."
"But I admit I got sucked into some of his schemes," said Tatschl.
"Taking fuel seemed pretty harmless and we did it for a few months.
"The cops caught us red handed, caught us stealing diesel and we got eight-and-a-half months in prison on remand waiting for a trial in Portimao.
"It's just a small prison, so we got to spend a lot of time together."
In 2006, while the pair were in jail, the farmhouse was robbed, and the money, valuables and camcorder was taken.
The father-of-one says he "cannot believe" that Portuguese detectives have not yet searched the former home they shared.
When the pair were released from prison, Brueckner moved into the distinctive white and yellow VW Westfalia campervan, while Tatschl says he left Portugal for Orgiva, Spain.
Five months later, Madeleine disappeared.
"He had lost the house but he was still enjoying living in the area. I think that confused the police a little as they were not sure where he was living exactly when Maddie vanished," said Tatschl.
"The next time I saw him was in late May or early June 2007 and he arrived in Spain with his big American campervan, the Winnebago, the one with the swimsuits.
"He parked it up in Orgiva and came looking for me. It was the only reason he had come to Orgiva to find me. He knew that I was living there and he knew I had connections to the marijuana world and could help him make money.
"We all wondered where he'd got the money from.
"I remember specifically having a conversation with an English guy who lived there and we both said how on earth could have had that vehicle?
"We assumed a big drug deal or something like that. Now I suspect it was Maddie.
"He was only there that time for a couple of days and went on back to Germany selling marijuana."
Brueckner has a string of convictions, ranging from molesting a 6-year-old girl in a playground when he was just a teenager, to raping a 72-year-old American woman in a horrific attack in Praia da Luz more than a decade later.
Now, he has been identified as the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. German authorities say they have evidence that she is dead, and that Brueckner "did the deed" but they do not have enough evidence to charge him.
"He was definitely a pervert and all his friends thought that about him. He had some sexual issues but we didn't think that he liked young children," says Tatschl.
"Christian was always on the dark web. He would talk about it and he always had internet in the houses he rented.
"I don't know exactly what he did but I suspect it involved drugs and pornography.
"He was always bragging about money and making money. He even talked about selling kids maybe to Morocco.
"I didn't really think about it at the time. Just brushed it off as joking."
Things changed when he watched an eight-part series on the McCann case in March last year.
"When I saw the Netflix documentary I knew immediately that he was guilty.
"The part where the female tourist talked about the man turning up at her door while her child played by the front door, the creepy guy with acne and blonde hair. I just knew it was Christian for sure."
Days later, police arrived at Tatschl's front door.
"I had two Austrian police and two German Police turn up at my house. I was then taken to the police station where I told them my story over 14 hours.
"It was the first week of April last year and they had me in the police station from 10am to 6pm on the first day and then from 10 am until 4pm the next day.
"They were very clear with me from the first minute. They said 'we are investigating Maddie McCann and Christian Brueckner' and I told them I knew it already. I was convinced it was him. I told them 'I know what you want. I hope I can help.'"
"I really hope they can finally close this case for the family and find Christian guilty for what he has done. He needs to admit it to the police and close it for good."
Last week, lawyers defending Brueckner said their client "denies any involvement" in the McCann case.