Portuguese police say the German evidence against the new suspect in the Madeleine McCann case is “significant”.
A senior police source also told that they were keen to cooperate in the investigation into the disappearance of the British girl in Portugal in 2007.
The new suspect is a 43-year-old German man, named in reports as Christian B, who is in prison in Germany.
He was revealed as the main suspect earlier this month, as German and UK police made a fresh appeal for help.
The convicted paedophile is believed to have been in the area where Madeleine, aged three, was last seen while on holiday in Portugal.
A senior Portuguese police source, who has seen the German evidence against Christian B, has told that it is “very important” and “significant”.
The source also rejected criticism that their procedures were slow, amid reports that the German authorities have privately been critical of their Portuguese counterparts.
Another source close to the investigation said Portuguese police accepted that Christian B was now a suspect.
Asked whether they had access to his previous convictions for child sexual offences at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, he said it was important not to judge the past with the benefit of hindsight, and that police systems since then had changed.
Some of those who knew the German suspect during his time in Portugal have criticised the investigation as “very slow”, telling that they were only approached by police – either British or Portuguese – in the past year or two.
Several people remembered Christian B as angry and untrustworthy, with one neighbour saying he squatted in a nearby house without paying rent, and left it “ransacked” in a terrible state when he departed, two years before Madeleine’s disappearance.