Satellite images taken shortly after Madeleine McCann's disappearance appear to show the prime suspect's camper van parked just a mile away from her hotel and are being examined by German police, Britain's Daily Telegraph has learned, as authorities appeal for more evidence from the public.
Heriberto Janosch Gonzalez, a Spanish criminologist who works in computer science, was contacted by officers from Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office just hours after he sent them a picture he uncovered this week from early June 2007 — just weeks after the young girl disappeared.
The van, a distinctive white and yellow VW T3 Westfalia from the 1980s appears to be parked near a run-down farmhouse where the suspect lived until late 2006 and could offer clues as to where Christian Bruckner went after Madeleine's abduction.
The farmhouse had been left "ramshackle with no sign of occupancy" in 2006, its British owner said.
Sitting at the end of a dusty dirt road, it is surrounded by hilly scrubland and has a number of deep wells close by, which Janosch Gonzalez said police should now search.
On Tuesday night, the family's lawyer in Portugal told the Telegraph that Kate and Gerry "don't know much more than we know".
"I spoke to the family four days ago and what I think is they do not know much more than us."
Asked if the family knew what evidence the German police insist that they have to show that their daughter is dead, he said: "As a matter of fact they do not. The prosecutor should explain his point of view to them, because they do not know."
In Germany, it emerged today that Nicole Fehlinger, a reported ex-girlfriend he stayed with in Portugal, had been interviewed by police nine months ago.
Bruckner and Fehlinger are known to be close, and she accepted the convicted paedophile into her home in the months after Madeleine's disappearance.
It came as a British ex-girlfriend of Bruckner's claimed he told her he had "a horrible job to do in Praia da Luz" the night before Madeleine disappeared. He told the woman who was not identified: "It's something I have to do, and it will change my life. You won't be seeing me for a while," according to the Sun.
Brückner dated two British women while he lived in Prai da Luz, both of whom have reportedly given evidence to the police. It is also claimed that he told friends "just don't go there" when asked if he had anything to do with the disappearance
Speaking to the Telegraph, Janosch Gonzalez said he was confident the van belonged to Bruckner.
"The satellite images depend on the definition and perspective, so it was very difficult to do an exact analysis, but the measures and proportions, the location of the windshield, correspond well to a VW T3 Westaflia campervan," he said.
"I sent an email at midnight on Sunday and got a reply at 6.30am on Monday, so I think they were interested. They asked me how I got the pictures and I told them it was open source from Nasa.
"I have always had an interest in this case, and have degrees in psychology and criminology, so when I heard about the farmhouse I wanted to look into it."
In the months after Madeleine's disappearance, the prime suspect turned up at a restaurant in a remote village 65km from Praia da Luz asking for a job.
There, he knew Fehlinger, a foster carer who looked after vulnerable German children.
On Tuesday, her father Dieter said: "If I had known then what I know about Christian now I would have killed him.
"When I first met him I was certainly suspicious of him.
"My daughter was interviewed by German police between nine months and a year ago in connection with Christian.
"I don't think she will be making any further comment."
He added that Fehlinger also had a young blonde daughter living there at the time Bruckner was in the area.
The news comes as British victims of sexual assaults in the Algarve were urged to contact police, after an Irish woman said that her rape could be linked to the man suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann.
Braunschweig state prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said German authorities believe Christian Bruckner has committed more crimes against British, Irish and American tourists and that any new information could help with their investigation.
An Irish woman who was raped in a nearby town in 2004 said that her attacker, who has never been found, spoke English with a German accent and had blonde hair and piercing blue eyes — all of which match the description of Bruckner.
The victim, Hazel Behan, was working as a holiday rep in Praia da Rocha at the time, and told the Guardian that her information was now being taken seriously by the Metropolitan Police and that they would be in touch with Portuguese officials.
The German paedophile has been convicted of raping a 72-year-old American tourist at a luxury beachfront villa in Praia da Luz in 2005, and has a long history of sexual assaults against women and children.
On Tuesday, police in Germany announced they are reviewing the disappearance of yet another German girl in light of the new Madeleine suspect.
Police in Bayreuth, a small German town just outside of Nuremberg, confirmed that Bruckner is "under investigation" in the case of Peggy Knobloch, who disappeared without trace on May 7, 2001, on her way home from school.
On July 2, 2016, parts of her skeleton were discovered in the Thuringian Forest.
Although there is no evidence "that the suspect in the 'Maddie' case is also a possible perpetrator in the 'Peggy' case", Bayreuth's chief public prosecutor Martin Dippold told the German newspaper Bild: "He is now also under investigation in the case 'Peggy'."