Hans Christian Wolters is leading the investigation into Christian B – the man named as the main suspect in Maddie’s disappearance. He said there has been an increasing exchange of information between the German team, Scotland Yard and Portugal but admitted “not every detail has been passed on.”
Speaking from his office in the German city of Braunschweig Mr Wolters said: “We have re-established contact with the McCann family in writing.
“We, of course, really consider the fact that it is going to be very hard for the family when we tell them that we assume Madeline is dead.
“But we can’t say why she is dead.
“It is more important that we are is successful and we are able to get the culprit as opposed to just putting our cards on the table and tell them why we think she might be.”
Gerry and Kate McCann are being kept updated as the investigation into the 43-year-old German suspect continues.
Their Portuguese lawyer Rogerio Alves is to meet with detectives on the Algarve later this week.
He was hoping they will finally reveal what evidence the Germans have against Christian B.
But it now appears the German authorities will not reveal anything further just yet.
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Mr Wolters has said in recent days that they know Madeleine was killed.
He added: “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 them the details.
“I sympathise with the parents but if we reveal more details to them it might jeopardise the investigation.
“I know it would be of relief to the parents to know how she died but it would hamper the investigation if we give away too much information.”
Mr Wolters said simply: “This is a murder case – not a missing persons case.”
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“We have not yet interviewed him formally as we don’t want him to be aware of the details of our investigation.
“To reveal too many details too early would hamper ongoing investigations.”
In Portugal Mr Alves said: “I will try to find out what information they have that can support the reopening of the file here.
“I want to find out if there are new leads for them to chase. I want to know what is being done.
“What I hope is that everybody helps to find the truth instead of hiding information, or keeping information for themselves.
Madeleine, from Rothley, Leicestershire, was three when she vanished from her family’s holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007.
Mr Wolters said that his investigation is covering the time Brückner lived in the Algarve, from 1995 to 2007.
Christian B, who is serving a prison sentence in Germany for drug-dealing, was convicted last year of raping a 72-year-old American woman in 2005 in Praia da Luz.