GERMAN cops leading the probe into Madeleine McCann are scouring the files of missing kids cases – including another Brit girl who vanished on holiday.
Detectives remain convinced Christian B is responsible for Maddie’s disappearance – but they are said to be desperate for new leads.
But officers are now locked in a “race against time” to establish fresh leads in the probe.
To try and force a breakthrough, a source close to the case revealed how cops have been conducting a cold-case review of other investigations about missing children.
Revealing details of the intelligence drive, the insider said: “History has shown again and again that children who have gone missing can either be found after many years – sometimes decades.
“Often there are similar trends within each of the cases that officers involved in the Maddie investigation think they lean on to try and drum up new leads.
“They desperately need something fresh to go on if they are to have any hope of pinning this on Christian B.
“Detectives are in a race against time and need new leads as soon as possible.
“By looking at old cases they are looking out for methods or ideas that were used by the police in finding information that led to the child being found or the case being solved.
“Many of the Portuguese detectives think it is another case of the German officers clutching at straws.
“But the view among the investigating cops is what have they got to lose?”
The Sun understands officers in the German team have been tasked to review old cases in recent months, and their work has stepped up since October.
Cases they’ve looked at are believed to include the disappearance of three-year-old Cheryl Grimmer.
The British toddler went missing more than 50 years ago in Australia – but last month it emerged a new witness had come forward.
The mystery of Cheryl’s disappearance has been compared with that of Madeleine, who was also three when she went missing in Portugal in 2007.
Both girls vanished while they were on holiday with their families – and they have never been found.
Other cases which German officers have been looking at as part of the intelligence gathering drive include Aranza Maria Ochoa Lopez, who went missing in 2018 in the US and was later found in Mexico.
Detectives have also been reviewing the case of Kayla Unbehaun who was abducted at the age of nine but found alive and well after a local shopkeeper recognised her from a Netflix documentary.
Kayla disappeared in 2017 and the case was featured on the streaming platform’s Unsolved Mysteries series.
Kayla’s father, Ryan Iskerka, had full custody of her at the time of her disappearance and informed the police she was missing after finding Kayla wasn’t at her mother’s house in South Elgin, Illinois on July 5, 2017.
It comes after German cops were said to be trying to track down the ex-lovers of Christian B.
Detectives believe his former partners hold vital clues in piecing together the “confused timeline” of the years the 54-year-old spent “drifting” around Praia De Luz.
Officers face a race against time in linking the convicted paedophile to Maddie’s disappearance.
The Sun told how detectives fear the investigation could collapse by the New Year unless a fresh lead is found.
A source close to the case said: “German detectives remain convinced Christian B was involved in Maddie’s disappearance.
“But they still have a very confused timeline of Christian B’s life spent on Praia De Luz.
“For years he is thought to have been drifting around the island living in a van and they want to understand more about what he was doing during this time and who he was seeing.
“The big problem they have is that relations with Portuguese cops are at an all-time low.”
They added: “Hardly any intelligence is now being shared.
“This has therefore left German cops with little choice but to work backwards and to try and trace as many friends, colleagues, former girlfriends and lovers of Christian B as possible.
“They might hold vital clues.
“Cops remain sure someone, somewhere, knows information which could be of vital importance.”