A VAN uncovered by The Sun is being investigated by the German FBI over child abduction links to Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner.

The BKA is trying to track down the white Mercedes Sprinter that we discovered parked at the patient’s forest hideout after Maddie disappeared.

Christian Brückner arrives in court in Germany handcuffed as part of his latest ongoing rape trial

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Christian Brückner arrives in court in Germany handcuffed as part of his latest ongoing rape trialPhoto credit: Dan Charity
Our exclusive image shows a white Mercedes Sprinter parked on the spooky wooded property that Brueckner later purchased

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Our exclusive image shows a white Mercedes Sprinter parked on the spooky wooded property that Brueckner later purchasedPhoto credit: Dan Charity
Madeleine McCann disappeared 17 years ago while on holiday with her family in Portugal

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Madeleine McCann disappeared 17 years ago while on holiday with her family in Portugal

Brueckner is believed to have had a white Mercedes van in Portugal at the time of the boy’s abduction in 2007 – but it is not clear whether the vehicles were the same vehicle.

Federal authorities want to examine the Mercedes, which was proven to belong to the convicted pedophile, and hope that it could still contain DNA or crucial clues.

An employee of the workshop that took over the van when Brueckner was finished with it said: “We cleaned it and repaired it, but the DNA had not been completely removed.”

“There could still be hair and other traces of people who were held inside.

READ MORE ABOUT MADDIE MCCANN

“For data protection reasons, we cannot give you exact dates or further details about the customer.”

An official request has been received from the Rosier car dealership in Braunschweig, which rented the van to Brückner between 2014 and 2015.

“We are there now and are happy about the information,” said a BKA source. “We are contacting the Rosier workshop today.”

Prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters said: “I am aware that the information about the white sprinter was passed on to the BKA.”

In addition to any connections to Maddie, it is now believed that Brückner was in possession of the vehicle when the German Maddie, Inga Gehricke, disappeared in the forest in Saxony-Anhalt in 2015.

Brueckner was initially investigated in connection with the disappearances in 2016 and 2020 – after he had an accident an hour before the case was closed.

Little Inga Gehricke disappeared on May 2, 2015 during a family picnic in a forest in Wilhelmshof.

Like Maddie, who went missing in 2007, she disappeared with almost no trace, sparking the largest search for missing people in German history.

The only clue was the sighting of a “white Sprinter van” driving along a track through the forest at exactly the same time.

However, the case remains open and he has not been officially ruled out.

At the time of her disappearance, 47-year-old Brückner was living off and on in his abandoned factory in Neuwegersleben, just 90 kilometers away.

He couldn’t give an alibi for that day, and the day before he had an accident in nearby Helmstedt, just an hour away.

A friend of Brueckner told the Sun: “He drove it around Europe and even took a friend with him to Portugal and Spain.

“I rode in it with him a few times, even to the box factory, and he used it the entire time to transport his stolen goods.”

It was known that Brückner stored vehicles at the factory in Neuwegersleben.

He bought the property in former communist East Germany in 2010 and is also said to have lived in a trailer there.

A police search in 2016 discovered disturbing images and videos on memory cards in a Lidl plastic bag under the body of one of his dogs.

Clothing items including swimwear in children’s sizes were also found.

Multiple sources confirmed that at least two other vehicles had returned from Portugal with Brueckner.

The scrapyard owner, who did not want to be named, told The Sun earlier on Sunday: “German law requires you to keep all records for at least ten years.

“But the thing is, none of the police departments came by to ask us anything that could be described as surprising.”

Brueckner is in prison in Germany for rape and is currently on trial on other rape and child abuse allegations that emerged as part of the Madeleine investigation.

He denies any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.

Brueckner bought the abandoned factory in East Germany in 2010

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Brueckner bought the abandoned factory in East Germany in 2010Photo credit: Dan Charity
An abandoned car rotting in the junkyard

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An abandoned car rotting in the junkyardPhoto credit: Dan Charity
Brueckner's forest hideout in Germany

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Brueckner’s forest hideout in GermanyPhoto credit: Dan Charity

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