Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have reportedly found a hidden cellar at the German allotment where the prime suspect allegedly lived in 2007.
Investigators in Germany have been searching a garden plot on the outskirts of Hannover for three days in connection with the 13-year-old case.
Named as Christian B, the suspect is currently in prison in Germany. It is believed he lived on the allotment near Hannover the same year Madeleine went missing.
Police are using excavators, sniffer dogs, shovels and rakes to investigate the area of land.
Officers put up two tents and continued to dig even further into the ground after they had cut down trees and bushes earlier this week.
The apparent discovery of the cellar was made in the course of Wednesday morning.
One allotment tenant next to the plot being searched, told the newspaper Bild the cellar had belonged to the plot “for many years” and had been added by a previous tenant. It was not filled in when the summer house attached to it, was torn down at the end of 2007, he said. It is not clear who tore the house down.
Police have sealed off the area, and added extra non-transparent screening on Wednesday, according to reporters at the scene. Police confirmed reports that they had shut the airspace over the area they were searching, to avoid helicopters and drones from being able to fly overhead.
The police have not revealed what it is they are hoping to find. But a spokeswoman for state prosecutors in Braunschweig who are leading the investigation and working alongside Germany’s federal criminal police, confirmed that the search was taking place as part of its investigation into the disappearance Madeleine in Portugal in 2007.
As part of their investigation, just weeks ago police searched an abandoned factory property in the neighbouring state of Saxony-Anhalt in which Brückner is also believed to have lived, and uncovered thousands of images on video tapes and USB sticks buried there, including child pornography.
Earlier this month Portuguese police and divers searched three wells in the area of Vila do Bispo on the Algarve. They said they found no evidence.