Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley announced that there are new "significant" lines of enquiry that could mean Madeleine McCann might still be alive
As the 10th anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance gets closer and closer, police have announced that they may be making a breakthrough in the case.
People across the world were shocked by the disappearance of the three-year-old girl who seemingly vanished just days before her fourth birthday whilst on holiday with her family in the Algarve, Portugal.
Madeleine was nearly four-years-old when she disappeared (Credit: Facebook/ Official Find Madeleine Campaign)
Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry, were initally named as suspects by the Portuguese police, but this was dropped shortly after.
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has also ruled out their potential involvement in the disappearance of their daughter.
He said: "The parents' involvement - that was dealt with at the time by the original investigation by the Portuguese.
"We're happy that's completely dealt with and there is no reason whatsoever to re-open that or start rumours that's a line of investigation. The McCanns are the parents of a missing girl and we're trying to get to the bottom of what happened."
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley completely ruled out that Kate and Gerry may have had some involvement (Credit: Getty Images)
Unfortunately, Mr Rowley could not confirm whether he thought Madeleine was dead or alive: "There's no definitive evidence as to whether Madeleine is alive or dead. That's why we describe it as a missing person inquiry. We understand why, after this many years, people will be pessimistic, but it's important we keep an open mind."
Mr Rowley, who has been in the force for 30 years, explained that she must have been abducted: "She wasn't old enough to make a decision to set off and start her own life. However she left that apartment - she's been abducted."
But he did reveal a theory that the police are now looking into, saying that they are pursuing a "small number of critical lines of enquiry" that they think were "significant" that had been uncovered thanks to public appeals.
Mark Rowley, here speaking after the Westminster attacks in March 2017 (Credit: Getty Images)
He said: "One of the working hypotheses we've got was could this be a burglary that's gone wrong. Somebody's doign a burglary, panicked maybe by a waking child and that's what leads to MAdeleine going missing.
"In my experience, if you try to apply cold, rational logic of what someone sat in their front room might do compared to what criminals do under pressure, you tend to make mistakes."
Mr Rowley described this as a "sensible hypothesis" and that there was a lot of evidence where people had "acted suspiciously". It had led to the police narrowing down the 600 suspects they had identified over the last six years down to a small group of people who were investigated and have now been ruled out.
Madeleine has been missing for ten years next month (Credit: Facebook/ Official Find Madeleine Campaign)
Speaking to ITV, Mr Rowley said: "I know we have a significant line of inquiry which is worth pursuing, and because it's worth pursuing it could provide an answer. But until we've gone through it, I won't know whether we are going to get there or not."
He then revealed that they would not be releasing all the information they currently have as that might hinder the investigation: "Ourselves and the Portuguese are doing a critical piece of work and we don't want to spoil it by putting tit bits of information out publicly."
The Police Assistant Commisioner resolutely and defiantly vowed that the police would do everything they could "reasonably" do to get to the bottom of what happened to little Maddie: "Our mission here is to do everything reasonable to provide an answer for Kate and Gerry McCann.
"I'd love to guarantee that we will get to an answer, sadly investigations can never be 100% successful - but it's our job to do everything we can do reasonably to find an answer as to what happened to Madeleine.
"Pedro, the senior member of the Portuguese team, and I have a shared determination - if we can find an answer, that's what we're going to do."
The McCann family in happier times (Credit: Facebook/ Official Find Madeleine Campaign)
Mr Rowley wavered from his professional persona for a moment to reveal a softer side: "I so wish I could say that we will solve this. We solve more than 90% of serious cases here at Scotland Yard. I so wish I could say that we'll solve it, but sadly a small number of cases don't get solved.
"As a professional police officer who deals with families in awful situations, it always hurts that you can't guarantee success. But we'll do everything we reasonably can."
We hope they can solve the case.
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