Levi Bellfield has admitted to the rape and murder of teenager Milly Dowler after making a dramatic prison confession. The serial killer is serving a whole-life prison sentence after being found guilty in June 2011 of brutally murdering the 13-year-old in 2002.

Surrey Police said Bellfield made the admission while detectives investigated whether he had an accomplice. "The arrest was made following new information regarding an accomplice being involved with Levi Bellfield – who now calls himself Yusuf Rahim – in the abduction and rape, but not murder of Milly Dowler," Surrey police said.

"Police have thoroughly investigated this claim and as the final part of their inquiries made the arrest today (27 January). The man arrested has subsequently been released with no further action as no evidence has been found to support the allegations.

"During this investigation police have also spoken to Levi Bellfield and he has admitted his responsibility for the abduction, rape and murder of Milly Dowler. Despite his conviction, this is the first time Bellfield has made such admissions to police."

Dowler was abducted on her way home from school in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, on 21 March 2002. Her decomposed body was discovered by mushroom pickers in Yateley Heath Woods on 18 September 2002. A case against Bellfield – a charge of attempted abduction of Rachel Cowles, an 11-year-old girl – later collapsed when newspapers publishing prejudicial material.