Portuguese police want to question a British man who helped in the search for Madeleine McCann, it was revealed today.
The man was on holiday in Praia da Luz at the same time as the McCanns, it was reported today.
He arrived in Portugal on April 28, the same day as the McCanns, and left on May 6, the day they should have flown home, according to the Portuguese newspaper Jornal de Noticias.
Police have recovered an Opal Corsa he rented from a car hire company in Faro, about 60 miles from Praia da Luz, the paper said.
Detectives are now reportedly trying to establish whether this man had any connection with the McCanns.
The development came as the hunt to find Madeleine was reported to be focusing on a "missing hour" before she disappeared.
Portuguese police sources have also given fresh details of the fateful night the little girl vanished.
Sources within the Portuguese police now say it is possible she was kidnapped during the time between her father Gerry checked on her at 9.05pm and when her mother Kate discovered she was missing at 10pm.
This contradicts earlier claims that she had been killed in the apartment.
And they are now focussing on this crucial period.
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Gerry and Kate McCann, pictured today, hit back at critics who they say want them out of PortugalThe belief among some detectives that Madeleine had died at the scene followed the discovery by British sniffer dogs of specks of blood on a wall.
This led senior sources to say they had "definitively abandoned" the theory that she was abducted and were convinced she died "as a result of negligence or murder". Results of DNA tests on the blood are expected next week.
But today police sources revealed fresh details of the time just before Madeleine went missing.
Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns who was on holiday with them, saw a man walking away with a child at around 9.30pm, some 25 minutes after Mr McCann's last visit.
Witness statements made by the McCanns and their friends have led police to consider that a kidnapper or killer may have been hiding in the apartment even as Mr McCann checked on her at 9.05pm.
Read more...According to a leaked report, Mr McCann later told police that a bedroom door he thought should have been shut may indeed have been open, indicating the kidnapper may already have entered the apartment and been hiding in wait.
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About 15-20 minutes after Mr McCann returned to his friends, dining at a tapas bar 120 metres away, Miss Tanner left the table and saw a man walking past her in the street carrying a small child. It is suggested the child could have been Madeleine who was three at the time.
The statements indicate one further check was made on the children - and those of others in the group - at around 9.45pm although Madeleine may have gone by then.
It is not known who made this check or whether it involved entering the apartment.
One scenario being considered by police is that the checks may have consisted of parents listening out for crying children from outside a bedroom door rather than a visible check.
At 10pm Mrs McCann discovered Madeleine missing and raised the alarm, leading to the world's biggest manhunt.
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Still missing: Little Madeleine vanished in MayThe investigation into the missing hour follows a week of smears aired in the Portuguese media which implied that the McCanns and their friends were involved in Madeleine's abduction or death.
Earlier reports this week have claimed - following the discovery of traces of blood in the room - that Madeleine was killed or died accidentally in the apartment and her body later dumped.
But the only member of the group of friends to speak about what happened on the night - Portuguese secrecy laws prevent witnesses talking about an ongoing criminal investigation - has said she believed that despite the regular checks there was an opportunity for a kidnapper to strike.
Rachael Oldfield, a City recruitment consultant from London, said: "There would only have been a small window of opportunity for somebody to do it(abduct Madeleine) but presumably if somebody had been watching our movements then it would be possible."
On the night of Madeleine's disappearance, Mrs Oldfield and her husband Matthew were dining with the McCanns and close friends Miss Tanner, Russell O'Brien, David and Fiona Payne and an unidentified woman.
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Hard week: The McCanns have had to deal with a cruel smear campaign as well as everything elseToday the McCanns spoke of their anguish at the week of claim and counter claim. Mr McCann said: "There has been a shift in the investigation and the way it was proceeding previously.
"Now if that means we're starting with a new slate, we've always said all scenarios are possible, and we have always done everything to co-operate.
"We've stayed here, we've worked with the investigation, and everything that we have done in the last 100 days has been with the belief that Madeleine was taken alive, and I haven't seen any concrete evidence to the contrary."
He added: "There's definitely been a shift. They haven't said that she's dead, on multiple occasions they (said they) believed they were looking for a missing child, but there's been a shift.
"I want to see the evidence which has caused their shift because it's so important to us as parents that if there is evidence, we need to know about it."
In an interview broadcast on Radio 4's Today programme, he responded to claims made in the Portuguese media.
He said: "We know we are absolutely innocent, we have had absolutely amazing support. I would ask people to continue to believe in us and support us."
The couple have met detectives twice this week but are understood to be frustrated by a lack of information.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-474426/Madeleine-Police-launch-hunt-mystery-British-man.html#ixzz13luYMCVk