THE investigation into Madeleine McCann suspect Christian B could be closed down in the New Year.

We can reveal a “catastrophic” lack of progress in the probe has raised fears it will be shelved in just a few weeks time.

German investigators have been working around the clock to try and generate fresh clues against the jailed sex-offender.

But police sources in Portugal told The Sun Online the German team has hit a “brick wall”.

We can also reveal how cops on Praia Da Luz where Maddie vanished 13 years ago are privately seething the investigation into Bruckener has carried on so long.

They insist he was ruled out as a suspect soon after the four-year-old  went missing.

 And the Portugese believe vital time has been wasted by focusing on the jailed German sex offender.

“The game is almost up for the officers investigating Christian B,” a source close to the investigation said yesterday.

“They’ve been struggling now for many weeks to find new clues. Leads have dried up catastrophically and there are now hardly any new lines of enquiry at all.

“None of this has come as a surprise to the Portuguese team who worked on the original investigation. They have believed for a long time that the investigation into B is effectively a wild goose chase.

“They think a lot of time, energy and resources have been wasted and that the focus should now be on finding the person who actually took Madeleine.”

Our story comes days after reports indicated Maddie’s parents, Kate and Gerry, were being warned to brace themselves for news that the investigation was going nowhere fast.

The admission comes two weeks after the lawyer representing Christian B called on prosecutors to ''show their cards'' to be ''fair'' to them and his client.

Friedrich Fulscher has demanded that German investigators share the "concrete evidence" they have that proves Madeleine is dead – something he claims they have refused to reveal.

Mr Fulscher said: ''It is no secret that the Portuguese have a different theory of what happened to the German BKA (federal police).

"The German prosecution could put an end to this theory when they finally put their cards on the table.

''This would be fair to the suspect and for the parents – both sides could judge for themselves how robust they consider the evidence to be.'

Sun Online revealed last month how Christian B had been sneering at the “dirty tricks” he believes German cops have been using to try and get him to confess to taking Madeleine.

He was named in June as the prime suspect in Madeleine's abduction.

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