The CPS has sent an International Letter of Request to Portuguese police seeking permission to make the first arrests in the hunt of Madeleine McCann, the Mirror reports.
A spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann said the letter was "significant" but they were not building their hopes up. The spokesman told the Mirror:
The letter is a significant development. It is necessary for British police to request the Portuguese authorities allow them to operate on their turf.
It means they have the intention of arresting and interviewing X, Y or Z. We don’t know who they have their sights on but it’s likely it is the burglars.
Whether the Portuguese will co-operate remains to be seen. It is a very sensitive issue with differences they have had.
Police want to be given a chance to arrest key suspects. It doesn’t prove they have Madeleine but it will rule them in or out of the investigation and that is important.
Kate and Gerry don’t want to build up their hopes too high but they realise it could be a significant new lead.
More top news
A man has been rescued by firefighters - after getting his head stuck inside a washing machine.
Late-running passengers who attempt to pass through security with less than 30 minutes before their flight departs will now be stopped.
A Ukrainian pilot who spent two years in prison in Russia has been sworn into national parliament after being released last week.