Madeleine McCann went missing from Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve in May 2007
Madeleine McCann went missing from Praia da Luz in Portugal\'s Algarve in May 2007

Police in Portugal have confirmed they will reopen their investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

Portugal's attorney general said the decision to reopen the case was due to "new elements of evidence". The move follows a request from officers in Oporto, who have been reviewing the case.

The Portuguese investiagtion will run parallel with the current Met Police operation.

A spokesperson for the attorney general's office said: "The Public Ministry has determined the reopening of the inquiry relating to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann following a request from the Policiia Judiciaria."

The official Portuguese police inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance ended in 2008, but Scotland Yard launched a review into the search following a request by Prime Minister David Cameron.

It is believed no officers involved in the original Portuguese investigation will be involved in the latest one.

Met Police said they met with senior officers in Lisbon on 17 October to discuss the "significant development".

AC Mark Rowley, Specialist Crime and Operations, said:"The meeting was very positive, and we and the Policia Judiciara have a shared determination to do everything possible to discover what happened to Madeleine.

"Colleagues in Portugal fully shared with us the developments in their review, and the fact that they were taking the significant step of applying for the investigation to be formally reopened.

"This is a welcome development, but both sides of the investigation are at relatively early stages, with much work remaining to be done. This new momentum is encouraging, but we still have a way to go, and as with all major investigations, not all lines of enquiry that look promising will yield results."

Since police reopened their investigation, an e-fit of a man who they wish to speak to as a matter of "vital importance" has been released. Police also received more than 2,400 calls and emails following a BBC Crimewatch reconstruction of the day Madeleine disappeared.

The three-year-old from Leicester went missing from Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve in May 2007.

Madeleine's parents said they welcomed the decision to reopen the investigation.

A spokesman said: "Kate and Gerry don't want to get their hopes up too much. They have always said they want the case to be reopened, and if that process is indeed now getting under way it is a significant step forward."

Rowley added: "Combined with the formal reopening of the Portuguese investigation today, and our ever closer working relationship, I believe that we have the best opportunity yet to finally understand what happened to Madeleine."