Christian Brückner
© AP
Christian Brückner is a convicted drug dealer and sex offender.
An urgent new arrest warrant has been issued for the prime suspect in the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann over a series of rapes and horrific child sex abuse.

A German court issued the warrant for a 45-year-old male tied to a string of sex crimes in Portugal on Monday, the Telegraph reported.

Although the man is not formally identified, he is believed to be Christian Brückner, a convicted drug dealer and sex offender who was formally linked to the McCann case in April.

Brückner, referred to as "Christian B" in all official communication to accommodate Germany's strict privacy laws, is serving a seven-year sentence for raping a 72-year-old woman in September 2005 at the same Praia da Luz vacation resort where Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007.

He was charged last month with five additional sex crimes, including the assault of a 10-year-old girl on a nearby beach less than one month before Madeleine disappeared.

"The accused is the same person against whom charges were brought in connection with the disappearance of the then 3-year-old British girl Madeleine Beth McCann," the prosecutor's office confirmed at the time.

Madeleine, of Leicestershire, was last seen sleeping alongside her infant siblings in her family's vacation rental while her parents, Gerry and Kate, dined with friends at a nearby restaurant. When Kate McCann checked on her children around 10 p.m., she found the bedroom door and window open and Madeleine gone.

Brückner came to the attention of authorities over 10 years later, when he bragged to a friend that he "knew all about" what happened to the missing girl. In 2021, lead prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters announced his team was "confident we have the man who took and killed [Madeleine]."

Brückner has reportedly denied any involvement in the McCann kidnapping to authorities. A known drifter, the court's latest warrant claims that he will be a flight risk if released as planned in 2025.

The arrest warrant needs to be approved by Italy, where Brückner was arrested in 2018 before being extradited to his native Germany, the Sun reported. A decision on whether to send him to trial for five additional cases is still pending.