In Britain, the latest developments blanketed the front pages of broadsheets and tabloids, in some cases crowding out reports of large anti-racism protests on the same day. “Have They Found Who Took Maddie,” the Daily Mail blared, beneath a frozen-in-time picture of a young Madeleine and a newly released photo of a Volkswagen camper the suspect was known to have been using around the time of the abduction.
But alongside the anticipation in some quarters about a potential break in the case was a measure of weariness about the British news media’s fixation on the matter. Some people pointed to news reports 13 months ago about a German man coming under investigation in the disappearance, a revelation that came around the same time the Metropolitan Police Service was applying for more funding from the Home Office to continue its inquiry.
The Home Office said that it was considering an application for new funding for the 2020-21 financial year by investigators in London. The Home Office also said it had given the London police force 292,000 pounds, or $368,000, to cover the cost of the investigation in the previous financial year.
A spokesman for Madeleine’s parents said the latest statements by the police were the most specific to date, but he also urged caution.
“There have there been countless sightings, tipoffs, rumors, assumptions made largely by the media about A or B, which have all suddenly come to nothing,” Clarence Mitchell, the spokesman, said in a radio interview on Thursday morning.
He did not “want to talk about any sense of hope or optimism around this one, given the circumstances,” he added. “But, as I say, in my memory of being involved in the case, the police have never been quite so specific about an individual as they have been in this appeal.”
The McCanns declined to be interviewed, so as to allow the focus to remain on the police request for more information. The German police are offering 10,000 euros, or $11,233, to anyone providing information that helps to solve the case, and have provided a link where photographs or other possible evidence could be submitted.