Police photograph site in Portugal as new Madeleine McCann search to end today

Police are photographing an excavation site near the banks of a remote reservoir in Portugal as the new search for Madeleine McCann enters a third day.

Teams were seen early on Thursday cutting wood on the banks of a reservoir 30 miles from where the toddler went missing in the Algarve in May 2007.

Officers maintained their focus on the area of woodland on a peninsula at the Barragem do Arade, after a digging operation was carried out a day before with sniffer dogs.

Heavy machinery was used to cut through vast undergrowth at the site, while a mixture of uniformed and plain-clothes officers raked the ground.

A large section of the Barragem do Arade has been cordoned off since Tuesday morning.

Police have been using shovels to excavate their area of focus, while sniffer dogs and pickaxes were also deployed over the course of the searches.

While some members of the search team concentrated on the digging site, others used rakes and shovels to scour the surrounding area, slowly making their way through the recently trimmed undergrowth.

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Earlier this week, Portuguese authorities announced a new search at the Arade reservoir would be taking place for an initial two days at the request of German investigators.

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Madeleine, who was just days away from turning four when she disappeared, was staying in the beach resort of Praia da Luz with her twin siblings in May 2007.

German Prosecutor, Hans Christian Wolters, clarified that a search had been requested following a tip-off.

Local media reported that officers had been asked to look for rags or items of clothing after authorities received credible information from an informant.

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Police using sniffer dogs in the new search for Madeleine

Mr Wolters refused to confirm this – simply saying that the tip hadn’t come from their prime suspect, Christian B.

The convicted sex offender is currently in jail in Germany serving a sentence for rape.

He denies any involvement in the three-year-old’s disappearance.

The 45-year-old is believed to have regularly visited the reservoir at the centre of this week’s search.

As activity continued on a small area of land jutting into the water, Mr Wolters told Sky News: “We have a search warrant for a certain area. This area is to be searched completely.

“It does not matter how much time this will take.

“Originally, we expected it to take about two days.

“If it now takes three or four days, it doesn’t matter. It will take until we are ‘through’ with the area.”