Madeleine McCann detectives believe German child murderer and pedophile is latest suspect in the case after he matched photofit of abductor

German officers have reportedly identified the new suspect as murderer Martin Ney, 48, who is believed to be one of two 'persons of interest' in the case.

                            Madeleine McCann detectives believe German child murderer and pedophile is latest suspect in the case after he matched photofit of abductor
(Source : Police Department)

A German child sex offender and murderer is reportedly the latest suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann  which happened 12 years ago when she was on holiday with her parents in Portugal.

Following a tip-off from Scotland Yard, Portuguese detectives are closing in on the prolific pervert and convicted triple murderer Martin Ney, 48. He is believed to be one of two key "persons of interest"  and authorities are set to quiz him in prison, the Daily Mail reports.

The 48-year-old, known as the “Masked Man”, was known to be in the Algarve at the time of Madeleine's disappearance.  The police was spurred to action after it was discovered that he closely resembles a photofit of a man said to have been seen with a child in his arms shortly after the three-year-old vanished.

That said, parents, Kate and Gerry McCann have not been informed of any fresh leads in their missing daughter's case.

In 2012, Ney was sentenced to life in prison for abducting and murdering three young children and sexually abusing several others. The notorious killer, dubbed the "masked man", reportedly traveled across Portugal in the 1990s.

Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of the missing 4-year-old British girl Madeleine McCann, display a poster of their missing daughter during a press conference on June 6, 2007, in Berlin, Germany. (Getty Images)

Authorities later learned from his online chatroom messages he dressed in camouflage "in children's playgrounds" and would jump out of bushes "if a beautiful boy goes past." Furthermore, it was revealed he wore masks, balaclavas, and often lured young girls into a trap.

In 2011, Ney was jailed for life after killing Stefan Jahr, 13, in 1992, Dennis Rostel, eight, in 1995, and Dennis Klein, nine, in 2001. While all his known victims have been boys, experts say gender does not factor in a pedophile's consideration. Last year, it was reported that Ney had confessed to a fourth killing to an inmate. This time, it was Jonathan Coulom, 10, who was kidnapped and murdered during a holiday camp in Saint-Brevin-Les-Pins in 2004. Ney is yet to be charged in Coulom's death.

The pedophile, who completed teacher training at age 21, was also probed but never charged in the 1996 disappearance of German boy Renee Hasse in Aljezur, Portugal. He was ultimately put behind bars after a wide scale police operation in 2012.

In a recent conversation with Australian journalist Mark Saunokonko, former Portuguese Police Chief Goncalo Amaral said authorities were about to name a new suspect in the Maddie case - a German pedophile.

Former Policia Judiciaria (Crime Police) detective Goncalo Amaral holds a copy of his book entitled "Maddie: The Truth about the Lie" (Source: Joao Cortesao/AFP/Getty Images)

Speaking of the potential kidnapper, family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said, "It might be him and he fits the profile, he is a known predatory pedophile and he's a foreigner. He wore camouflage gear, carried knives and jumped out of bushes to pounce on victims."

"It is quite possible and plausible police are looking at him again but it could be someone else," he told Daily Mail. "There is a degree of credibility it is Ney but we cannot speculate. Ney has been previously interviewed by detectives over Madeleine's abduction and denied it. He is in a German jail now."

In this handout photo, released September 16, 2007, missing child Madeleine McCann smiles. (Getty Images)

According to Mitchell, the latest bid to close in on the German pervert was after based on a tip-off from Scotland Yard.

"The Yard has been doing a fair amount of work on this new person of interest and they then ask Portuguese officers to nail it down," he explained. "If activity needs to be done, the local police have to do it even if it's a foreign force's investigation. And if Ney is the person of interest a German force will then have to get involved to interview him on their soil."

"Kate and Gerry are not in a position to comment on this, nor would they because it is operational detail and they will not discuss it," he continued. "It is purely for the police if they choose to comment. The family will wait to hear of any developments and remain grateful to the British police for everything they are doing."

A close family friend of the McCann's told Daily Mail: "If Ney is the suspect can you imagine how Madeleine's parents will be feeling, knowing that a child killing pervert may be involved in their daughter's kidnap. It is beyond horrendous."