COPS searching for Madeleine McCann believe witnesses are sitting on vital information about prime suspect Christian B because they are “terrified” of him.
Prosecutors yesterday admitted they’ve unearthed “no smoking gun” during their investigation into the jailed German paedophile.
But as fears grow nothing will ever come of the investigation into the 43-year-old, the Sun Online can reveal how officers remain convinced people are holding back key evidence.
A source close to the Maddie 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.”
Helge Busching was the key witness in Christian B's rape trial in Braunschweig, Germany, last December.
Last week it was revealed Busching had given Christian B's name to Scotland Yard but it was not clear why he waited so long before doing so.
Manfred Seyferth, 64, believes Christian, 43, is guilty of abducting Madeleine.
Reflecting on their life of crime together, drifter Seyferth said: “We called him ‘The Climber’ because of his skills.
“He was an expert at getting into apartments and hotel rooms.
“Christian was athletic and he was strong. I saw him many times climb up to first and second-floor apartments and break in.
“He would take watches, passports, money and anything electronic that he could sell. He was a great burglar.”
Regarding his testimony against Christian B at his rape trial, Seyferth said: "When I saw him in court, he made me shiver.
"He has a cold hard face and evil eyes. I'm glad he's now in prison. It's the best place for him. He should stay there for a long time."
Seyferth said he knew that Christian was robbing holidaymakers in the Portuguese resort that year.
Christian B is currently appealing his rape conviction at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and a verdict is expected next Thursday.
Yesterday, police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann said “everything points to her being dead”.
Prosecutors in the country are probing convicted paedophile Christian B whose mobile phone data suggests he was in the Portuguese resort when the Brit toddler vanished in 2007.
Chief investigator Hans Christian Wolters admitted there still was no “smoking gun” evidence enabling charges to be brought against the 43-year-old criminal.
However, he told Portuguese state broadcaster RTP that German cops believe Christian B is “responsible” for the child’s disappearance and that she is dead.
He said: “The result of our investigation does not point in any way to the possibility the suspect might have kept Madeleine alive.
“We have nothing to indicate she could be alive.
“Everything we have points to her being dead. We have no margin of manoeuvre.”
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