Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner admitted to Portuguese authorities that he was a sexual predator a year before she disappeared but detectives searching for the youngster never considered him a potential kidnapper.
Brueckner told an investigating judge that he had a criminal record in Germany and that he had committed sex offences when he interrogated for stealing diesel from commercial trucks in the Algarve in 2006.
However the German’s confession that he was sex offender was not recorded by police and his name was never added to a list of known sex offenders living in the Algarve.
Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner, pictured, admitted to Portuguese authorities that he was a sexual predator a year before she disappeared but detectives searching for the youngster never considered him a potential kidnapper
Brueckner told a judge: ‘When I was 17 years old I was convicted in Germany for theft and sexual offences.’
The juvenile criminal fled to Portugal in 1996 shortly after his conviction for the sexual assault of a child in Germany.
But he was arrested in 2006 and later jailed for eight months stealing diesel from commercial trucks.
Details of his confession that he was a sexual predator have emerged in documents of his interview by criminal investigating Judge Antonieta Nascimento in the Portimao court house on 8th April 2006.
His name should have been added to a list held by the Portugal’s investigative Policia Judiciaria [PJ] who were tasked with finding Madeleine McCann just a year later.
Brueckner’s name should have been added to a list held by the Portugal’s investigative Policia Judiciaria [PJ] who were tasked with finding Madeleine McCann, pictured, just a year later
Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann, pictured holding an age-progressed police image, have never given up hope of finding their daughter
In May 2007 the PJ made a list of all foreign nationals who had been convicted of sex crimes and the abuse of children that lived in the area around Praia da Luz.
Even though Brueckner confessed his sexual criminal past to the judge that interrogated this information was never passed on to the PJ.
The revelation, made today in the Portuguese media, adds to the growing evidence of the incompetence of the initial police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance from a holiday apartment in May 2007.
Authorities in Germany, Portugal and the UK have all clashed during the case, with the Met today hitting back at claims they failed to hand crucial letters to Madeleine’s parents from German police.
It also emerged this afternoon that a friend of Brueckner was convicted of sexual assault on an eight-year-old girl years after the suspect ran a kiosk business in the same building where the assault took place.
A link between the two cases has been drawn by German newspaper Bild, who have reported that the pair knew each other well while Brueckner ran the kiosk, and that the then-teenager could have been influenced by predator.
Brueckner only became a suspect ten years after the girl vanished when he boasted to a friend in a bar in Hannover Germany while drinking that he was knew what had happened to Madeleine McCann in Portugal.
The German Federal Police asked the PJ to investigate Brueckner and they discovered that the took a phone while he was in Praia da Luz just before the youngster vanished
The 43-year-old German is now the prime suspect of the kidnap and murder of three-year-old Madeleine McCann.
Scotland Yard and German federal investigators in row over Madeleine McCann as Met Police say they were only sent ONE letter and it did NOT mention proof of missing girl’s death
Scotland Yard today hit back at claims they have failed to hand crucial letters to Madeleine McCann’s parents from German police and also denied there is any evidence that the missing British girl is dead.
Kate and Gerry McCann have also rubbished claims they have received multiple notes from Bundeskriminalamt detectives investigating paedophile prime suspect Christian Brueckner who is currently in Kiel prison for drug smuggling.
But Braunschweig prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has insisted two letters were sent to the couple by the German Federal Police (BKA), albeit indirectly via Scotland Yard, alleging British detectives then failed to pass them on.
Amid the war of words between British and German police, a spokesman for the Met said this afternoon: ‘The Met received one letter from the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) on June 12, which was passed to the family.
‘The letter did not state that there was evidence or proof that Madeleine is dead – the Met continue to investigate Madeleine’s disappearance as a missing person investigation. No letter has been received by the Met from the German prosecutor’.
The clash between German authorities and British police came amid tensions in Portugal where German detectives have been refused permission to test a mystery saliva sample found in the Praia da Luz holiday apartment the British toddler vanished from on May 3, 2007.
Madeleine McCann has been missing since she disappeared on holiday in Portugal in 2007 and the probe is now being led by German Police because the prime suspect is a German and convicted paedophile
Kate and Gerry McCann, pictured, reportedly failed to receive crucial letters about their daughter’s disappearance after a blunder by British police, who have denied the claims
But prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, pictured, has insisted two letters were indeed sent, albeit indirectly, to Scotland Yard, where police chiefs then failed to pass them on
Mr Wolters said the first letter, dispatched at the end of May, confirmed that German police were treating the case as a murder, while the second was sent last week to update them on the investigation.
It is the latest revelation in what appears to be a disjointed operation involving forces in Germany, Britain and Portugal, where Madeleine vanished in 2007.
Investigators with the Portuguese Judiciaria said last week they were ‘incensed’ at the way they are being made to look like they are dragging their feet over the renewed appeal for help, as Mr Wolters described working with police in the country of the youngster’s disappearance as ‘cumbersome’.
Kate and Gerry have never given up hope of finding their daughter and new life was breathed into the 13-year-old case this month when German sex attacker Christian Brueckner was named by prosecutors as prime murder suspect.
Scotland Yard and German police have received more than 1,000 calls since Brueckner, 43, was identified.
They believe the German drifter burgled holiday homes in the Algarve and on some occasions sexually assaulted women and girls inside the properties.
Public appeals for information have featured Brueckner’s former farmhouse and another property in which he stayed, as well as a VW campervan and Jaguar car he owned.
Detectives are also trying to find the person who phoned him an hour before Madeleine disappeared, shortly before her fourth birthday.
Police say that Brueckner received the call near the McCanns’ holiday apartment in the Ocean Club complex.
Mr Wolters said this week: ‘We have concrete evidence that our suspect has killed Madeleine and this means she is dead.
‘The parents have been told the German police have evidence that she is dead but we have not told them the details.’
However, Kate and Gerry hit back with a furious rebuke, in which they said: ‘The widely reported news that we have a received a letter from the German authorities that states there is evidence or proof that Madeleine is dead is FALSE.’
‘Like many unsubstantiated stories in the media, this has caused unnecessary anxiety to friends and family and once again disrupted our lives.
‘As we have stated many times before, we will not give a running commentary on the investigation – that is the job of the law enforcement agencies and we will support them in any way requested.’
What do we know about Maddie murder suspect Christian Brueckner and his criminal past?
1976: Christian Brueckner is born in Würzburg under a different name, believed to be Fischer. He was adopted by the Brueckner family and took their surname.
1992: Christian Brueckner is arrested on suspicion of burglary in his hometown of Wurzburg, Bavaria.
1994: He is given a two-year sentence for ‘abusing a child’ and ‘performing sex acts in front of a child’.
1995: Brueckner arrives in Portugal as an 18-year-old backpacker and begins working in catering in the seaside resorts of Lagos and Praia da Luz.
But friends say he became involved with a criminal syndicate trafficking drugs into the Algarve.
September 2005: He dons a mask and breaks into an apartment where a 72-year-old American tourist.
The victim was bound, gagged, blindfolded and whipped with a metal cane before being raped for 15 minutes. She said afterwards that he had clearly enjoyed ‘torturing’ her before the rape.
April 2007: He moves out of a farmhouse and into a campervan linked to the crime. The farmhouse is cleaned and a bag of wigs is found.
May 3, 2007: Madeleine McCann is snatched at around 10pm from her bed as her parents eat tapas with friends yards away.
Brueckner’s mobile phone places him in the area that night. He returns to his native Germany shortly after that.
October 2011: He is sentenced to 21 months for ‘dealing narcotics’ in Niebüll, in northern Germany.
2014: He moves to Braunschweig where he starts running a town-centre kiosk. He then goes back to Portugal with a girlfriend.
2016: He is back in Germany. He is given 15 months in prison for ‘sexual abuse of a child in the act of creating and possessing child pornographic material’.
May 3, 2017: Brueckner is said to be in a bar with a friend when a ten-year anniversary appeal following Madeleine’s disappearance is shown on German television. He is said to have told him in a bar that he ‘knew all about’ what happened to her. He then showed his friend a video of him raping a woman.
MailOnline understands the friend went to police shortly afterwards.
June 2017: He heads back to Portugal and extradited again to Germany. The reason was a sentencing of the Braunschweig district court to 15 months’ imprisonment for the sexual abuse of a child.
August 2018: After his release from prison he lives on the streets. But he was jailed again for drug offences.
First Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters addresses the media during a press conference on the Madeleine McCann case at the public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig
September 2018: Brueckner is arrested in Italy and extradited to Germany and put on trial for raping an American in 2007 after a DNA match was found at the crime scene.
July 2019: He is jailed for 21 months for drug dealing in the northern German resort of Sylt.
August 2019: Brueckner is charged with the rape of the American tourist in Praia da Luz in 2005.
December 2019: He is convicted of rape of extortion of the tourist based on DNA evidence. He is given a seven year sentence, but this has not been imposed pending an appeal.
June 3, 2020: Scotland Yard and the German police reveal that that they have identified a suspect in the Maddie McCann case
June 4, 2020: Prosecutors in Braunschweig, where he lives, say they believe Madeleine McCann has been murdered, says spokesman Hans Christian Wolters. He is named in the German press as the prime suspect.