MADELEINE McCann cops need a breakthrough in the next ten weeks or the case against prime suspect Christian B could “evaporate”.
The 43-year-old convicted paedophile and rapist is in prison in his native Germany but no formal charges have been brought against him.
Madeleine disappeared while on holiday in the Algarve resort of Praia Da Luz in 2007 and Christian B was named as the prime suspect after mobile phone records placed in the area at the time.
Although German cops remain certain he is involved, they are now privately admitting the investigation is at a “make or break stage”, The Sun Online has learnt.
It comes as his lawyer has demanded that German investigators share “concrete evidence” they have that proves Madeleine is dead – something he claims they have refused to reveal.
“German detectives are concerned that a lot of the momentum they had in the days and weeks after Christian B was first named has now been lost,” a source close to the investigation in Praia Da Luz.
“They are now of the view it is critical that they take a massive step forward before the end of the year.
“Otherwise they fear the case against Christian B may even just evaporate entirely.
“Detectives know the case is hanging by a thread and that the next 10 weeks between now and the end of the year are absolutely vital if they are going to be able to solve the case and find answers.”
The admission comes days after the Christian B’s lawyer Friedrich Fulscher called on prosecutors to ”show their cards” to be ”fair” to them and his client.
”It is no secret that the Portuguese have a different theory of what happened to the German BKA (federal police),” he said.
“The German prosecution could put an end to this theory when they finally put their cards on the table.
”This would be fair to the suspect and for the parents – both sides could judge for themselves how robust they consider the evidence to be.”
With the clock ticking in the case there have been reports suggesting a fellow an inmate in Kiel Prison may have been recruited by detectives to get the jailed sex-offender to talk.
That prompted Christian B to insist he won’t all for “dirty tricks” he believes German cops have been using to try and get him to confess to taking Madeleine.
“He has been boasting there is no way he will fall for it,” said a source.
“To him the whole thing is a game of cat and mouse and he has remained silent throughout.”