COPS probed the prime suspect for Madeleine McCann’s kidnap and alleged murder for three years.
They only asked for help from the public after building up a detailed factfile on child rapist Christian B.
Police in Britain and Germany revealed they had a new suspect last June.
Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said: “By that time, Christian B had been under investigation for three years.
"We did not take the decision to go public lightly.
“We have since found a lot more pieces of the puzzle but I cannot reveal what they are. We are making progress.”
Christian B, 44, is in jail in his homeland for the rape of a US woman, 72, in 2005.
Mr Wolters said there is not yet enough evidence to charge him over Madeleine, adding: “There is no time limit, but we won’t keep it going forever.”
Meanwhile, cops are set to probe a clairvoyant’s claim that Madeleine is buried in a forest six miles from where she vanished in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007 aged three.
Michael Schneider, 50, who has located the remains of several people, contacted the BKA, Germany’s FBI, three weeks ago with the coordinates.
It is claimed they replied: “Your information will be incorporated into our work.” Schneider said: “I do not give out such information lightly.”
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