A Portuguese police chief has said he believes Madeleine McCann died on the night of her disappearance, it was reported today.
Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa has also indicated that new official suspects in the investigation could be named soon.
According to newspaper reports, the senior policeman said his officers have now collected new evidence.
However, it has emerged that the traces of blood found in the McCann's apartment did not come from the missing girl.
The Times claims the technical analysis of the tiny spots of blood found smeared on the bedroom wall show it probably came from a man from the " north east European sub group".
A male guest is known to have injured himself while staying at the flat after Madeleine disappeared. This could explain why the blood was not found when police searched the apartment after Madeleine's disappearance.
However, further tests are being carried out by the Forensic Science Service.
And Mr Sousa said that they believe Madeleine died on May 3.
Detectives officially acknowledged she could be dead for the first time on Saturday.
The comments were made after Kate McCann, Madeleine's mother, said she and her husband, Gerry, have talked about returning to the UK without their daughter, who has been missing for 105 days.
"We never thought we would go before Madeleine came back. Now we just don't know, but we have our two-year-old twins to consider," she said.