Madeleine McCann: Pictures show sniffer dogs and pickaxes as police begin fresh search
Police are searching a reservoir around 30 miles from where she went missing in 2007.
A new search is under way in Portugal in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Police divers entered the water early on Tuesday at the Barragem do Arade reservoir, around 30 miles from Praia da Luz, where the three-year-old went missing in 2007.
Authorities later combed the banks of the reservoir with the help of sniffer dogs, rakes and pickaxes.
Portuguese police had confirmed on Monday they were co-ordinating searches in the Algarve at the request of German police and in the presence of British officers.
It has been reported that the prime suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance, convicted sex offender Christian Brueckner, 45, spent time in the area between 2000 and 2017.
Investigators believe he killed Madeleine after abducting her from a holiday apartment.
Brueckner, who has denied involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance, was first identified as a suspect by German investigators.
Brueckner is facing charges in Germany over a number of separate sex offences allegedly committed in Portugal during that time.
German authorities release statement
A brief statement from the prosecutor’s office in the German city of Braunschweig confirmed the search but did not reveal why it was taking place.
Braunschweig prosecutor Christian Wolters told reporters that investigators were acting on the basis of “certain tips” but would not give further details.
The Sun reported that the search was sparked after they discovered video and photos of Brueckner near the reservoir.
Met Police confirm role in new search
The Metropolitan Police said officers would be there in order to inform Madeleine’s family if there were any developments.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell said: “The Met continues to work with and support colleagues in Portugal and Germany, with their investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
“Met officers will be in Portugal and I am grateful to the Polícia Judiciária and Bundeskriminalamt for allowing us to be present whilst their work is ongoing, so that we can inform Madeleine’s family of any developments.”
Barragem do Arade reservoir
Four teams of officers from the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria are involved in the operation, along with at least 20 of their German counterparts, Portuguese news outlet SIC said.
Around a dozen officers with sniffer dogs were moving along the bank of the reservoir as part of the search on Tuesday.
In 2008, Portuguese lawyer Marcos Aragao Correia paid for specialist divers to search the resovoir after he claimed to have been tipped off by criminal contacts that Madeleine’s body was there.
The most recent search in Portugal in relation to Madeleine's disappearance was in 2014, when British police were given permission to examine scrubland near where she vanished.