Published Monday, 14 October 2013
Two people who were in Portugal's Praia da Luz on the night that the little girl disappeared in May 2007 have given statements describing a man that police are now keen to identify and question.
It has been more than six years since Madeleine, then aged three, vanished from the holiday apartment where she was staying with her family.
On Monday night, a fresh appeal will be made on Crimewatch by Scotland Yard detectives.
"We're not the ones that has done something wrong here," viewers will hear Madeleine's mum Kate McCann say during the programme.
"It's the person who's gone into that apartment and taken a little girl away from her family."
The disappearance of the little girl, in an area popular with tourists, caused shock around the world and prompted numerous reports of sightings across a range of countries.
In Donegal, where Madeleine's grandfather grew up, there was particular disbelief and concern among those who knew the McCann family.
Now the investigation has been given new impetus by the latest evidence, although detectives say the e-fits are far from their only line of enquiry.
Whilst this man may or may not be the key to unlocking this investigation, tracing and speaking to him is of vital importance to us.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood
"We have witnesses placing him in the resort area around the time of Madeleine's disappearance," Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, the senior investigating officer, said.
"There will be e-fits released of other sightings as well, who we are equally keen to trace. These people were seen on the day of Madeleine's disappearance and the days leading up to it."
DCI Redwood added that "massive steps forward" have been taken by detectives, collating evidence and looking at it as a whole.
The work is said to have given them a greater understanding of the timeline of events leading up to Madeleine's disappearance and made the witness statements much more significant.
"We continue to put Madeleine at the heart of our investigation and I would urge people to watch Crimewatch tonight and if you can help identify this man, or have any information about our new appeal points, please contact us," DCI Redwood urged.
"Praia da Luz is a popular holiday destination for many nationalities, so our requests for help need to be repeated in many different countries. I will be travelling to Holland, Germany and Ireland to seek the support of the public there.
"If you were in and around the Praia da Luz resort on Thursday, 3 May 2007, but you have not yet spoken to police and you think you may have information, please pass it on."
Prime Minister David Cameron has given his support to the Scotland Yard investigation which the government has helped to fund.
"This was a crime that touched the heart of everyone in the country and everyone would like to see it resolved, so I hope Scotland Yard continue with their work and I wish them success," he said.
© UTV News