Detectives searching for new leads in the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann have received 5,000 calls.
Appearing on the BBC's Crimewatch programme tonight, Mr Redwood said :
"The media appeals produced a fantastic response from the public in all three countries with a total of 3,500 calls and messages in the UK, 850 to Germany, and 650 in Holland. Lots of people have called to say they were in Praia da Luz at the time. All of this information has obviously produced a very large volume of work for the Operation Grange team to work through. I have been in Faro this week working with police colleagues, and I know the appeal generated a large number of calls to the Portuguese police also. I'd like to thank the media and the public for their continued assistance in this challenging enquiry."
The day Madeleine disappeared, several unknown people were observed near the McCanns' apartment — including a man who was spotted carrying a young girl later that night. He was heading toward the beach — away from the resort.
It is this man who is featured in the two new composite images made public last month. "He was a white man with brown hair, and the child that he had in his arms was described as being about 3 to 4 years of age with blond hair, possibly wearing pajamas, a description very close to that of Madeleine McCann," Redwood said.
DETECTIVES hunting for Madeleine McCann have been given information about two German or Dutch-speaking men seen acting suspiciously before she was kidnapped in Portugal.
The potentially strong leads came after Kate and Gerry McCann made a direct appeal on a German crime show, called Case Files XY...Unsolved, in October. They were joined by Scotland Yard’s Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who asked German viewers for help.
Kate and Gerry McCann made an appeal on a German crime show
Calls came in from people who had been at the Ocean Club resort at Praia da Luz on the Algarve at the same time as the McCann family, on May 3, 2007. The callers had information about the German or Dutch speaking men, but it is not known if they were able to provide names. During the programme, 500 calls flooded in to a special team with a further 350 coming in during the following weeks.
Kate joined thousands for the annual switching on of the Christmas lights in her home village, of Rothley, Leicestershire, on Thursday evening. She smiled as children played on a bouncy castle and went on rides, but there were other moments when the pain of not having Madeleine there to share the early Christmas joy was clear to see.
A SPY plane on a Nato exercise may have captured an aerial image of the person who abducted Madeleine McCann, it was claimed last night.
A Portuguese military aircraft took photos of the Algarve coastline on the day the three-year-old disappeared, says British military expert Philip Burden. He claims the images were clear enough to identify buildings and people’s faces and were offered to Portuguese police when Nato officials later learned of Madeleine’s disappearance. Mr Burden said: “The aircraft may provide a new lead in the hunt for Madeleine. During the early and late evening of May 3, 2007, the day Madeleine disappeared from the holiday resort of Praia da Luz, the plane took aerial photos of that stretch of the Algarve.
Experts believe the aircraft may have taken photos of the hotel on the night Madeleine was abducted [GETTY]
"It was on a Nato training exercise and had been used on similar missions over other European countries at other times." Writer Mr Burden added: "According to my source, strips of film were later passed to the Portuguese police following their appeal for information about Madeleine's disappearance. "I'm told that there were a number of low-level passes over the resort as part of a lengthy photo reconnaissance training mission. Although the light was fading, people and buildings could be clearly seen."
If good images exist, they could prove vital in establishing what was going on at crucial times around the Ocean Club holiday complex. Spy cameras are so sophisticated they can pick out the registration number of vehicles and, in ideal conditions, tell the colour of a person's eyes. The claims come at an emotional time for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, as they prepare to celebrate Christmas with eight-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, with their missing daughter very much at the centre of their thoughts.
Mum Kate McCann prepares for seventh Christmas without missing daughter Madeleine McCann by praying for her return
Kate McCann has told how she is praying for daughter Madeleine’s safe return this Christmas, during a moving tribute to families of lost loved ones. She revealed her hope while giving strength to parents facing the same void in their lives – as she prepares for a seventh Christmas without the eldest of her three children.
Kate, 45, spoke at a private carol service, hosted by Missing People, in London last week. The former GP, who is an ambassador for the charity, read lyrics from Billie Holiday’s I’ll Be Seeing You, including the line: “I’ll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places.” A spokeswoman for the charity said: “Kate gave a very moving address as she united with dozens of families who are in the same, terribly sad situation. They came together in solidarity.”
A PAEDOPHILE intruder who sexually abused five girls during break-ins of holiday homes in the Algarve has now become a key suspect linked to the disappearance of Maddie McCann.
He was spotted carrying a girl of Maddie's description on the beach on the night of her disappearance. The suspect is said to have attacked the girls, aged between seven and ten, just months before four-year-old Maddie went missing in the Algarve, Portugal in 2007. Witnesses have described the man as tanned, with dark hair and say he spoke in English with a foreign accent. The man is suspected of breaking into 12 properties in the Algarve where British families were staying between 2004 and 2010.
Scotland Yard have confirmed a number of the break-ins show similar signs to that of on the night of Maddie's disappearance. They said there were no signs of forced entry, nothing was taken and the intruder appeared between 2am and 5am. His majority of attacks on young girls were said to have been between 2004 and 2006. And the most recent break-in was reported in 2010.
CLUES: This t-shirt is being regarded as key evidence
A red t-shirt with a white hoop on the back, thought to be worn by the suspect, is being treated as key evidence by police. The suspect may have been in the villa or looking round the villa for some time before committing the offences or being disturbed either by a parent coming in, or the child waking up. Scotland Yard announced officers are investigating 12 potentially linked crimes in holiday resorts near to where Madeleine vanished.