A source confirmed that police officer MADELEINE McCann is searching a lake for key video evidence on the main suspect’s camera.
Officials cleaned up their equipment and took samples for forensic lab testing at the end of a three-day scouring of banks at PortugalArade Dam.
Teams have fine-tuned the focus of the hunt on a peninsula in a beautiful location that’s questionable Catholicism B called my “little paradise”
As the operation ended at 4pm local time, German officers were seen waving to their Portuguese counterparts as they left the site in vans and pickup trucks.
The search has yet to yield significant clues, as samples that were taken along with the soil will be subjected to forensic analysis in Germany.
Experts say the tracks may suggest a link between Madeleine and the main suspect Christian B, who is believed to have taken her to the reservoir after kidnapping her in 2007.
But it can take weeks – even months – of hard work in the lab to find the killer’s clue.
When the search was over, a police source claimed German prosecutors had received a tip that important evidence would be found there.
It is thought they were hoping to find a gun and a video camera believed to have been stolen by two old friends of Christian B.
The camera contains video evidence that shows him torturing and raping two victims.
And prosecutors are reportedly hoping to also have images of Madeleine, who was arrested from her family’s resort apartment in the Algarve in May 2007.
Key witnesses Manfred Seyferth and another man named Helge Busching told investigators they broke into Christian B’s home a few weeks later.
He was in prison at the time of the burglary at his remote Foral mansion, 12 miles from the dig site.
A source close to the investigation tell MailOnline: “Seyferth told police that he and Busching found a video camera and a gun at the house after they broke in.
“When the video was played, they said it showed a masked man sexually assaulting a woman and the voice they heard was (Christian B’s).
“Seyferth said a gun was also found and after finding the video camera, they panicked, drove away and then threw both items into the lake.
“Seyferth has told investigators that the material in the videotape is evil and that if this can be found it will be important to build a case against (the suspect).
“Now another witness has emerged to confirm the story of the first two men and this has prompted an increased investigation.”
Activity was ramped up yesterday morning when Portuguese sources claimed a police informant revealed Christian B visited the dam site a few days AFTER Maddie disappeared.
His advice – plus geolocation clues found in a trove of 8,000 videos and pictures of the convicted rapist – is understood to have sparked the search.
At lunchtime, the teams began to pull down the white tents that appeared in search area in Monday.
Vehicles were also seen laden with equipment as officers prepared to leave – including Germans facing a long drive home across Europe.
Head of Portuguese Department Investigate Madeleine Helena Monteiro was also seen leaving, along with a team of sniffer dogs and machines used to clear the bush.
The Sun’s exclusive drone footage and still images obtained after the no-fly zone restrictions were lifted show the work being ramped up in the final frenetic hours of the Sun. Search.
Teams dressed in overalls and wearing rubber gloves were directed by a senior German officer and a photographer capturing key clues.
A core group of about six searchers returned to a narrow strip of dust that appeared to have been first identified as an “area of interest” yesterday.
They seem to be gathering in a place where important evidence or even a body may have been discarded.
Police were spotted removing what appeared to be big brown proof bag from the search site at Arade Đập Dam31 miles from where madie taken in Praia da Luz.
However, they have not released any information about what was found.
Activity was ramped up when Portuguese sources claimed an informant knew Christian B made the claim police a tip-off – and claims that he went to that location a few days after Maddie disappeared.
The tip – plus geolocation clues found in a trove of 8,000 videos and photos of the convicted rapist and pedophile – is understood to have sparked the search.
The “concrete” information from the criminal’s old friend is understood to have led dozens of officers to the scene from afar.
German, Portuguese and British police have extended the hunt to a third day at the dam site near Silves in the hope of finding a new breakthrough.
Police are understood to think that could be where Christian B may have thrown Maddie’s body or key evidence into the water.
By the evening of that day, the two teams were clearly focused on a small patch of land covered with trees and bushes about 20 yards from the waterline.
They were back earlier today working on site methodically with picks, shovels, rakes and trowels and appeared to be logging, photographing and measuring samples.
Our drones clearly showed they were sifting through the soil for clues as soil samples were taken out for closer inspection.
The land was taken away in a wheelbarrow when sources revealed it would be hauled back to Germany for weeks – or even months – for meticulous forensic analysis.
The ground was almost at the water’s edge in May 2007 when the reservoir suffered a normal drought.
And the level of focus shown shows that the team is acting on information that directs them to a likely location.
The search was then extended to an exposed hillside and reservoir bed, where at least 20 police officers with training tools and equipment formed a line to scan the ground.
But by lunchtime word spread that the hunt was ending and police and helpers were seen dismantling white tents and moving equipment from the site.
And just before the search ended for lunch, a remote-controlled camera that had been used to clear the ground was seen being removed from the site.
The Portuguese “Forest Commandos” were drafted yesterday to help scour the nearby forest at a site 45 minutes from the Praia da Luz holiday apartment where Madeleine was arrested in May 2007.
Commandos – who usually specialize in clearing bushes to prevent wildfires – used a camcorder-style machine to power the dense bushes.
Reportedly, search teams have been asked to search for fabric and yarn – amid reports that traces of Madeleine’s pink pajamas are being sought.
German police are investigating Christian B believing he may have taken Madeleine to the beauty parlor after making her a parent Kate and Gerry dinner outside.
And they still believe that the convicted rapist and pedophile raped and killed her before disposing of her body.
Christian B, 45, is currently in prison for the 2005 rape of an American pensioner in Praia da Luz, just meters from McCanns’ apartment.
He also faces a host of other sex charges.
German police believe he killed Madeleine – but three years after declaring him a suspect, they are unable to bring charges.
His attorney Freidrich Fulscher has insisted that he is not involved in the McCann case and is trying to get it removed.