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

A red, long sleeved T-shirt could be the key to identifying the man suspected of abducting Madeleine McCann.

A former Scotland Yard detective has revealed that a suspect, linked with attacks on another five British girls in the region between 2004 and 2010, was wearing the distinctive, long-sleeve t-shirt with a logo from the Portuguese drinks company Super Bock.

Peter Bleksley, founding member of the Metropolitan Police's undercover unit told the Sunday Express: "Some people have suggested it bore resemblance to a strip once worn by the Arsenal football team. However, I think a more likely explanation could be that the man was wearing one of these Super Bock promotional t-shirts.

Madeleine McCann suspect
Police have released an image of the T-shirt believed to have been worn by a suspect in the Madeleine McCann enquiry.

"Therefore it would be possible to check back on all the designs and the years they were produced and see which one bears most similarity to that witnessed by families."

The suspect is said to have worn the distinctive burgundy shirt on two occasions in Vale de Parra and Praia da Gale.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said last month the suspect broke into holiday properties where British families were staying and sexually abused five white British girls aged between seven and 10.

Described as a tanned, dark-haired man who was 'smelly and pot-bellied' it's believed he may be a local bin man.

Scotland Yard are hoping to begin 'operational activity' on the ground in Portugal, raising hopes that arrests could be imminent.

Meanwhile, the McCann family will mark the seventh anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance this week.

Her mother, Kate McCann, will relive her heartache during an interview with ITV's Lorraine Kelly.

A source close to Kate told The Daily Star: "She wants to speak from the heart to thank the public for their continued support over these seven difficult years and she still hopes Madeleine will be found."

Madeleine disappeared from her family's holiday apartment on May 3, 2007, as her parents Kate and Gerry dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.

Anyone with information should call police on 020 7321 9251 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.