Police believe that key witnesses in the Madeleine McCann case are failing to disclose crucial evidence as they are 'terrified of prime suspect Christian Brueckner, it has been reported.

Cops believe twisted Brueckner "terrified many of the people who he has come across in his life" and fear people are out there who can tie him to the case but are "too scared to speak out".

Christian Brueckner's lawyer Friedrich Fulscher has previously stated his client denies any involvement with Madeleine’s disappearance.

Brueckner is currently serving a 21-month jail sentence in Kiel, northern Germany, for drugs offences.

He was extradited from Portugal to Germany in 2017 where he was jailed for sex offences against children.

Brueckner was released in August 2018, but officials put him under surveillance and told him to report in once a month.

Instead he fled the country – first to the Netherlands and then Italy – and was arrested in Milan and extradited back to Germany where he was jailed for drug offences dating back to 2011.

Brueckner has been linked to an early 1980s camper van with a white upper body and yellow skirting, registered in Portugal, which was pictured in the Algarve in 2007.

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Three-year-old Madeleine from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

Scotland Yard said Brueckner was driving the van in the Praia da Luz area in the days before Maddie's disappearance and is believed to have been living in it for days or weeks before the child went missing.

And now it has been reported that police are encouraging anyone with information that can tie Brueckner to Madeleine's disappearance to come forward.

A source said to be close to the Madeleine McCann investigation told The Sun Online: “Many of the people who have bravely come forward to pass on information about Christian B have made clear how difficult a decision it was to speak out.

“The reality is that he is an evil man who terrified many of the people who he has come across in his life.

“But detectives are convinced there are people out there – potentially other criminals themselves who know the truth but who are too scared to speak out.

“German police will continue to try and reach out to those people as they are determined to prove what they are sure of – that Christian B was involved in Maddie’s disappearance.”

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