A detective who searched for Madeleine McCann for three years has reopened his case files for the first time.
Retired Detective Inspector Dave Edgar believes that a child-sex gang most likely took the girl who was three-years-old at the time.
He goes on to claim that one of the kidnappers has confessed to the crime to a friend or relative who is refusing to speak up about what happened.
“Someone knows, it must be on someone’s conscience, please come forward,” says Mr Edgar. "If anyone confided in you, now is the time to come forward.”
While Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann have been considered suspects since her disappearance from their Warner Ocean Club holiday flat in 2007, Mr Edgar insists that they were not involved.
“I was looking at everything that would include them,” he said.
“If I found any evidence against Kate and Gerry I would have given it to the police immediately. Kate and Gerry would expect no less. But I found no shred of evidence.
“We obviously look at all factors – motive, preparation, opportunity – and there was absolutely nothing.”
Based on the evidence, Mr Edgar believes the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann was a planned operation.
“There was a very narrow window of opportunity for them to get away with Madeleine. So it does point to it being planned and some level of surveillance, perhaps of the apartment.”
He added: “If the motive was gang-related child prostitution, there might have been more than one involved.”
He believes that the breakthrough in the case will come from the people who the kidnappers have confided in.
“They can’t keep it to themselves and research has shown they always confide in someone else.
“I think that someone else apart from the perpetrator knows and that is one of the best hopes of getting to the truth, that someone comes forward and says what they know.”