GERMAN cops with sniffer dogs were today searching a property 12 miles from Christian B’s secret cellar lair.
The police raided the property in Laatzen, near Hanover, Germany, which is just 12 miles from a secret cellar used by the paedophile in nearby Seelze.
The search was initially linked to the Madeleine McCann probe by the local German press.
However, cops have since told The Sun that the operation was unconnected to the missing Brit girl or prime suspect Christian B.
Christian B, a 43-year-old German, has been the focus of the Maddie probe since he was named as a suspect by detectives back in June.
Cops were reportedly searching the area using sniffer dogs – but it remains unclear what they are searching for at the scene.
German police previously searched a site in Seelze – just 12 miles from Laatzen – and uncovered a secret cellar believed have been used by the sex offender.
Neighbours told how Christian B, who has a history of 17 child sex offences, lived off-grid at the site some years ago.
He told them he wanted to insulate a small shack standing on a concrete base in the 15ft plot.
The structure was mysteriously demolished shortly after he left the site in 2007 or 2008, with no visible sign of the cellar left.
Some 100 police officers spent days using dogs, diggers and underground radar equipment to find the hidden basement back in July.
It comes after Christian B was hospitalised after he is claimed to have broken his ribs during a fight with prison guards.
Wolfgang Kossack, 73, who owns a neighbouring plot to the suspect allotment, said Christian B told him he lived “off grid” at the time and no one knew he was there.
He would often be seen with a girlfriend and stayed in a VW Transporter parked next to the site.
Mr Kossack said: “He never did any gardening or tried to grow anything. He just sat around drinking beer.”
Locals claimed there had been no new tenants since he disappeared. One claimed the plot had “been untouched since 2007”.
Mr Kossack said he appeared to have plans to insulate the cellar, and was “trying to cut himself off and hide from society”.
Cops were tipped off about his use of the Hanover allotment by another tenant who saw a German crime show last month featuring Madeleine’s 2007 disappearance while on holiday in Praia da Luz.
The site is three miles from where a sex worker’s dismembered body was found in 2010.
Christian B was pictured earlier this week being taken to hospital after it is claimed he smeared his cell with yogurt and blocked the toilet.
The convicted rapist was treated for two broken ribs, and claimed he was assaulted as he waited for a parole hearing.
Prison officers removed Christian B from his cell in Kiel, Germany, and he was driven 300km to Braunschweig.
About 40 minutes after arriving in Braunschweig and being put in a cell ahead of a hearing related to his prison sentence for drug trafficking, an ambulance arrived at the scene.
A source at the court building said Brueckner had ”thrown a tantrum” in his cell and smeared it with yoghurt and blocked the toilet with loo roll.
Speaking to The Sun, his lawyer Friedrich Fulscher claimed the guards were filming Christian B and then attacked him with a baton when he asked them to stop.
“Yes, he did dirty his cell but he was understably angry at being filmed,” he said.
German police have said they know Madeleine is dead and have insisted that Christian B is their man.
Despite their confidence, he is yet to be charged with any crime related to the missing Brit toddler, who vanished while on holiday with her parents in Praia Da Luz in 2007.
Sources have told The Sun Online that cops need a breakthrough in the next ten weeks or the case against Christian B could “evaporate”.
The probe is now at a “make or break stage” – with the paedophile’s lawyers going on the offensive and demanding they hand over evidence that Madeleine is dead.
The Sun Online also revealed German police are now trying to find Russian pals of Christian B from when he lived in Portugal who may be connected to the Madeleine case.
It is understood the Russians are two brothers with links to Spain, and it is reported Christian B’s ex-girlfriend, a babysitter, often talked about working for Russians.
German prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters has previously said on Portuguese television that Christian B is their “only” suspect in the Madeleine case.
He also said that “everything” the investigators have points to the tot being dead, despite her parents refusing to believe it until her body has been found.
However, the prosecutor admitted there is no “smoking gun” as the German has still not yet been charged despite being named as a suspect three months ago.
German authorities are treating Madeleine’s disappearance as a murder probe, while Scotland Yard continue to treat it as a missing persons case.
Christian B was sensationally named as a suspect just after the 13th anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
With the case reportedly on the rocks however, Christian B’s lawyer Mr Fulscher called on prosecutors to ”show their cards” to be ”fair” to Madeleine’s parents and his client.
Madeleine is believed to have been snatched from the holiday apartment where she was sleeping alongside her twin siblings Sean and Amelie on May 3, 2007, in Praia du Luz.
Described as a “twisted loner”, Christian B is understood to have been a kind of drifter around the resort at the time.
He was first linked to the Madeleine case after he allegedly made a drunken boast he snatched her while in a bar on the tenth anniversary of the crime.
Madeleine would have turned 17 this year, and the family have described the identification of Christian B as “potentially very significant”.
German police also confirmed Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry are completely cleared in the case amid unfounded allegations.
However, cops fear many witnesses may never come forward as they are “terrified” of Christian B.
Kate and Gerry have been left exasperated by prosecutors saying their daughter is a murder victim and even though they don’t have evidence to charge him.
“Until a body is found and it is proved to be Madeleine’s, Kate and Gerry are not giving up hope,” a family source told The Sun.
Experts have said Christian B matches the profile of a Jimmy Savile-style “paraphiliac”, who targets victims of all ages.
His ex-lawyer Serafim Vieira has described him as having “‘psychopathic traits” and admitted he could be responsible for Madeleine’s abduction.
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Christian B had a rundown and dilapidated shack only two miles away from the McCann’s holiday let.
And he is known to have owned a mobile home he boasted could carry “drugs and children”.
Mobile phone data suggests prolific sex offender Christian B was in the Portuguese resort when Madeleine vanished – and made a mysterious call just one hour before she was taken.
He is believed to have made a living selling drugs and stealing from holiday apartments.
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