Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are, for the first time, to target mobile phone records of thousands of holidaymakers in the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz.
Letters requesting such records have been sent to authorities in 31 different countries throughout Europe. Some of them contain specific names but police will not reveal identities.
Senior officers say the aim is to try to establish the footprints of the resort’s population during the week when three-year-old Madeleine vanished.
A team of six detectives in Portugal has been appointed to help in the fresh investigation run by Scotland Yard.
Senior officers say there’s a list of 41 potential suspects, including 15 British nationals.
Mobile phone records were not analysed to the same extent in the original Portuguese investigation.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said that a “significant” number of phones are “unattributed” and one problem will be tracking ownership of “pay as you go” numbers.
A major appeal will be launched in five different countries in the week after next – the UK, Ireland, Germany, Holland and Portugal – when they will reveal new information and a new theory as to how the little girl may have disappeared.
This new investigation began three months ago follow a two year review of evidence gathered from the Portuguese judicial authorities, and from seven private detectives agencies hired by Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.
Scotland Yard on Friday dismissed as speculation reports that the new investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was focusing on a paedophile ring on the Algarve.