The leading officer in the Madeleine McCann case Hans Christian Wolters has confirmed there is no forensic evidence that she is dead.
The German prosecutor leading the investigation said it is possible McCann is still alive, and he told the Mirror there is no “evidence” that proves she is dead.
Wolters made a dramatic U-turn as last week he said that McCann is was killed quickly after being taken.
Wolters told The Times newspaper, “My private opinion is that he relatively quickly killed the girl, possibly abused her and then killed her.
“We believe our suspect committed further crimes, especially sexual crimes, in Portugal possibly but also elsewhere like Germany.”
This comes after Kate and Gerry McCann asked Wolters for evidence that their daughter is dead.
A family friend of the McCann’s said, “You shouldn’t say it if you don’t know for a fact.
“They said from the outset they’re treating it as a murder investigation.
“They shouldn’t have been saying that unless they were damn sure.”
The McCann’s family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said, “The McCann’s have only ever wanted to know what happened.
“Without that knowledge they will never find peace and they are still relying on the police to establish the facts around this particular lead.”
The German prosecutor told The Times, “Because there is no forensic evidence there may be a little bit of hope.
“We don’t want to kill the hope and because there is no forensic evidence it may be possible.
“I am surprised the fact we say or I say Madeleine is dead is so important for the British people.
“In Germany it’s more normal we investigate a murder in such a case, so it’s not so important. It’s more normal.”