German prosecutors are due to charge the prime suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann with the rape of an Irish woman in 2004.
Christian Brückner is suspected of raping Hazel Behan in her apartment in Praia da Rocha in 2004 when she was 20 years old. Behan's apartment is a 30-minute drive from the site of three-year-old Madeleine McCann's disappearance in Praia da Luz in May 2007.
Behan, now 37, has waived her right to anonymity and contacted British police after she recognized Brückner during an appeal for information related to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann by German detectives.
German federal police hope to charge Brückner with Behan's rape "in the next three months". Hans Christian Wolters, the prosecutor leading the investigation, also said that German police may have enough evidence against Brückner to bring him to trial over the abduction of McCann if he is convicted of raping Behan, according to the Times of London.
"The case against the suspect Christian B for the rape of Hazel Behan is in a good way, and it may be that we can charge him in the next three months. I am very hopeful for a charge on this case," Wolters said.
"We are building a picture of Christian B and the methods he uses to commit his crimes. There are parallels with the case of the American tourist who was raped, the attack on Hazel Behan, and the abduction and murder of Madeleine McCann.
"In each case, the person has come into the person’s apartment or property by breaking and entering, often not through the door."
Brückner is currently serving a seven-year prison term in Hanover for the rape of a 72-year-old American woman in Praia da Luz in 2005, while German police claimed last year that they had evidence linking him to the notorious disappearance of McCann in the same area two years later.
The German suspect was living in a farmhouse just outside of Praia da Luz at the time of McCann's disappearance on May 3, 2007.
He initially fled to Portugal at the age of 18 to avoid a two-year youth custody sentence for child sex offenses in Germany but later returned to his home country.
Wolters said that he hoped a judge will believe that Brückner was capable of abducting McCann if he is found guilty of raping Behan in the same area, which could be enough to take the Madeleine McCann case to trial.
"Maybe the judge will think that somebody who has raped more than one woman in the same place where Madeleine was taken would also be more likely to take and kill a young girl. It says something about his character," Wolters said.
Behan, who worked as a tour representative in the tourist destination of the Algarve, was tied up and subjected to a prolonged sexual assault in her apartment by a man who spoke English with a German accent.
She told Portuguese police at the time that the intruder wore a mask and stood at 6 ft 1. Behind the mask, Behan could make out blue eyes and blonde eyebrows. Her description matches that of Brückner's.
She said that her attacker took his shoes off and left them at the door of her apartment before dragging her to the living room and tieing her to a breakfast bar. He also set up a video camera and produced a bag of chains and whips before removing her clothes with a scissors.
Behan later said that she "thought her life was over" during the attack.
If Brückner is charged with the rape of Behan, Wolters will have to convince a German judge that a full trial should be held over the case in accordance with the German legal system. Any trial is likely to take place in front of a five-judge panel in the Braunschweig district court.
Meanwhile, Wolters hopes to resolve the Madeleine McCann case by the end of the year.
McCann, who would have turned 18 this month, was the subject of frenzied international media coverage when she disappeared during a family holiday in Portugal 14 years ago.