GERMAN cops plan to return to Portugal after receiving "excellent" tips from British tourists on Madeleine McCann's disappearance – but local cops could block them.
Reports claimed prosecutors were growing ever more confident that they will be able to charge prime suspect Christian B.
Cops hope to return to the resort she vanished from in Praia Da Luz in 2007 to follow up on new leads.
A source close to the case said: “German officers think getting their team's boots on the ground would be a massive boost to the investigation.
"German detectives have received a lot of excellent information in the past few weeks, especially from British holidaymakers who were in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.
“There are leads, tips and lines of enquiry from those witnesses that urgently needed to be followed up.
"That's why they want to return to Portugal as soon as possible to try and move forward in the investigation.”
Plans by German officers to go back Portugal is unlikely to go down well with cops there.
Officials in the Algarve would need to be consulted before any such move takes place.
Relations between the German and Portuguese teams remain very poor.
Officers on the Algarve – whose probe was widely criticised – ruled out Christian B as a suspect soon after Maddie vanished.
Sources say it would be “deeply embarrassing” for them if it now emerged he was in fact responsible which is why relations are strained with their German counterparts.
“In an ideal world the two teams would be working together," a source in the Algarve said.
"But the reality is here in Portugal the Police simply don’t believe that Brueckner did this.
"They think a lot of what is being said by the German detectives is hot air and distracting from the most important thing – finding the person who took Maddie which is something, like the rest of the world, they've always wanted to see.”
Christian B is a convicted paedophile and rapist who is currently in jail in Germany.
He was identified by detectives there earlier this year as the man responsible.
They say they have "concrete evidence" Madeleine is dead – but have yet to disclose it.
They hope to shortly charge Brueckner with three other sex crimes on Portugal's Algarve coast. Madeleine vanished on holiday with parents Kate and Glasgow-born Gerry 13 years ago.
Maddie, from Leicestershire, was snatched a month after a ten-year-old German girl said a man performed a sex act in front of her at a nearby beach.
She came forward after seeing TV coverage of Christian B.
Hazel, now 37, was bound, gagged and raped in her apartment 30 minutes away in 2004.
She suspects it was Christian B after reading of his conviction last year for raping a 72-year-old woman at her home in Praia da Luz in 2005.
Several children also reported a man matching his description had exposed himself in 2017.
Last week Scotland Yard said their own probe into Maddie’s disappearance would carry on – news that will be welcomed by her parents Kate and Gerry.
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