14/08/2014 16:56 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Madeleine McCann: 5,000 Calls Flood In Following Crimewatch Appeal

5,000 calls flood in following Madeleine McCann Crimewatch appeal

Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have received 5,000 calls in the past six weeks, following an appeal on BBC's Crimewatch.

The October 14 reconstruction led to 3,500 calls from the UK. A further 1,500 came after screenings in Germany and Holland.

Several of the calls identify a white male suspect seen carrying a child matching Madeleine's appearance toward the sea just before 10pm in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.

The sighting has fuelled a theory that Madeleine was snatched later on during the night she disappeared than previously thought. Madeleine vanished from the Ocean Village holiday complex in May 2007, aged three.

Her parents Kate and Gerry are said to be 'greatly encouraged' by the response. Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has called for teamwork between UK and Portuguese cops, who relaunched inquiries they had shelved in 2008.

The scale of the public's assistance was revealed on last night's Crimewatch.

DCI Andy Redwood said: "The media appeals produced a fantastic response."