Madeleine McCann investigators 'believe village where Brueckner lived could ... trends now
Investigators leading the search for Madeleine McCann reportedly believe an Algarve village where prime suspect Christian Bruecker lived could hold vital clues to help solve the case.
Bruecker, a convicted rapist, stayed in the Villa Bianca in the village of Foral in the months after Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia de Luz in 2007.
It is understood the village, a 50-minute drive away from Praia de Luz, could be searched again by cops in the hopes it will 'throw up fresh leads'.
It comes after it was revealed that there could be other areas surrounding Praia du Luz that police can search after German detectives scoured through more than 8,000 photographs belonging to Brueckner.
Detectives are understood to believe the village of Foral, where Brueckner stayed between 2007 and 2008, could hold vital clues.
Bruecker, a convicted rapist, stayed in the Villa Bianca (pictured) in the village of Foral in the months after Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia de Luz in 2007
Detectives are said to believe the village of Foral, where Brueckner stayed between 2007 and 2008, could hold vital clues. Pictured: The villa where Brueckner lived
Madeleine (left) was aged three in May 2007 when she vanished from her bedroom in the apartment her family were staying at in the Praia da Luz resort on the Algarve coast. German prosecutors believe Christian Brueckner (right) is behind her disappearance
A source told the Sun: 'Christian B spent a lot of time there after Madeleine vanished. It was his favourite hangout and cops believe images of the area are among many of Christian B's pictures they currently have in their possession.'
The villa where Christian B was staying in Foral was rented out to a German woman called Nicole between 2002 and 2009.
But a German couple who had lived in the village for more than 20 years said they immediately recognised Brueckner when he was named as the prime suspect in 2020.
Lia Silva, the owner of the property, said an intimidating German man would visit the villa and visit Nicole.
He reportedly parked his distinctive Volkswagen Westfalia campervan, which was subsequently seized by German police, in the car park of a nearby restaurant.\
'Some people were afraid of him when he used to go to the restaurant,' Ms Silva said. That year, it was revealed that a witness claimed to have spotted Madeleine getting into a German-owned VW van with a man just weeks after her disappearance.
Analysis of Brueckner's photographs had led detectives to focus their search last week on the remote Barragem do Arade reservoir, which the convicted rapist referred to as a 'little piece of paradise'.
But other locations have also emerged as potential areas of interest following further analysis of the images.
'Detectives are seeking to work out where these places are and why Christian B was taking pictures of those places,' the source said.
They added: 'The trail is leading to Foral because this is an area that officers know that Christian B spent a long time in and around at the time Maddie went missing.
It's an area where police officers believe would benefit from being looked at again and revisiting to see if it can throw up fresh leads.
'They firmly believe other sites are out there which require a fresh search.'
Authorities gather at a makeshift base camp in the Arade dam area during the search operation amid the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance on May 23
Last week investigators cleared a large area of woodland at the Algarve reservoir and dug deep holes to collect samples, which have been sent for forensic and DNA testing in Germany
Bruecker, a convicted rapist, stayed in the Villa Bianca in the village of Foral in the months after Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia de Luz in 2007
Investigators last week searched the remote Barragem do Arade reservoir and cleared a large area of woodland there before digging eight deep holes to collect samples of soil, which have been sent to forensic and DNA testing in Germany.
And yesterday, German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters, who is leading the case, confirmed that a 'number of items' were seized during the search.
Police had said they found a 'relevant clue' during their search of the beauty spot after an informant was able to match photographs showing Brueckner close to the reservoir.
Several items were removed from the site, which may or may not be of relevance to the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. They include a bra strap, pieces of clothing and plastic items.
An area of about 160 square feet had been flattened and cleared of grass and shrubs with several holes dug into the ground to a depth of about two feet to collect samples of soil, which have been sent for forensic and DNA testing in Germany. The results of the full analysis could take months to be completed.
Last week's activity was the