Madeleine McCann investigation: Detectives to return to Portugal in 'make-or-break' moment

Officers aware of need to get results from latest development

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The Independent Online

British police are believed to be preparing to head back to Portugal as part of renewed investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

A group of detectives from Scotland Yard’s Operation Grange are reportedly set to travel back to the holiday resort of Praia da Luz next month, from where the-then three-year-old Madeleine was taken in 2007.

They are expected to hold meetings with senior Portuguese officers and are understood to have been granted permission to interview up to seven key suspects as well as investigate new areas of interest.

An undisclosed source told the Daily Mirror that the development was a “make-or-break moment” in the seven-year investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

The source said “thousands of pieces of evidence” had been re-examined by the British police team to get to this stage, adding this latest move was “far from a scatter gun approach”.

With a finite budget for the investigation, the informant said detectives were “acutely aware” of the need to get results.

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Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, will be informed of any new developments but are not expected to accompany officers.

Mobile phone data has put at least three of the suspects, due for questioning, close to the scene of Madeleine’s disappearance on May 3.

In May investigators travelled to the Algarve region, where the McCanns were staying, to supervise a search of scrublands, though nothing was found.

So far the Met probe into Madeleine has cost UK taxpayers upwards of £6 million.