Kate McCann & Madeleine. | Chris Helgren/Reuters

Detectives at Scotland Yard say they’ve identified a new suspect in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann more than 13 years ago.

The German man who is described as white, 43 years old, 6 feet tall with slim build and blonde or fair hair is currently in jail for sexual assault offences.

He is known to have been in the Algarve when Madeleine vanished from her bedroom in the holiday resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, while her parents were having dinner with friends nearby.

There has been no trace of Madeleine since then, despite a high profile International publicity campaign.

Police say they want to speak to anyone who remembers the German man, who has not been named.

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They are also seeking information about a Volkswagen Camper van and a Jaguar which have been linked to the suspect around the time Madeleine disappeared.

Both vehicles are now in the possession of German police who say they’re treating the case as a suspected murder.

British Police are still treating it as a missing persons case and described Wednesday’s appeal as "a significant development”.

Police also appealed for information about two Portuguese phone numbers. One was used by the suspect, and received a 30 minute phone call from the second number whilst in Praia da Luz on the night of the disappearance.

“More than 13 years have passed, and your loyalties may have changed. This individual is in prison, now is the time to come forward,” said British Senior Investigating Officer, Mark Cranwell.