Detectives investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann hope to re-test “stranger” DNA from the flat she went missing from seven years ago.
Advances in technology mean new tests could be carried out on 30 strands of hair and other samples collected from the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007.
Francisco Brizida is president of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, where the DNA is being held, the Mirror reports.
It quotes him as saying: “Technology now allows us to go further than years ago in areas like genetic markers.
“I wouldn’t like to be that ambitious and say the secret to unlocking the Madeleine McCann case lies in our lab.
“But if this case was resolved it would be the best solution. And if we could cooperate with that, it would of course be wonderful.”
The newspaper adds Met detectives have held talks with the institute over access to the samples and that the DNA could even be brought to UK labs.
Six separate DNA samples were found in Madeleine’s bedroom, with five being ruled out having been identified as belonging to McCann family members.
The sixth sample remains unaccounted for.
According to The Sun: “Talks will also be held on testing new DNA collected from three prime suspects in July.
“They are Carlos Fernandes da Silva, 38, a former driver at the Praia da Luz resort, Paulo Riberio, 50, who looks like a man seen near the apartment and charity collector Ricardo Rodrigues, 23.
“The Met has applied to Portuguese authorities to interview them again.”
Madeleine, who was then nearly four, disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal's Algarve on May 3 2007, as her parents dined at a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.
The Metropolitan Police Service continues to offer a reward of up to £20,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the person(s) responsible for the abduction of Madeleine McCann from Praia da Luz, Portugal on 3 May 2007.