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Priest praying for 'happy conclusion' as thousands respond to Madeleine appeal

Prayers have again been said for Madeleine McCann as police look into new information relating to her disappearance. A fresh appeal was broadcast on TV last night asking viewers for information relating to a man with dark hair who was seen with a blonde girl in his arms near to where Madeleine went missing six years ago. Two new images have been created by police of the man who's been described as aged 20 to 40, of medium height and medium build. A reconstruction of events which led to her disappearance was also shown. As a result one thousand calls and emails have been received with the editor of Crimewatch - which broadcast the appeal - saying some callers had given the same name for the man shown in the e-fit image.

DCI Andy Redwood from the Metropolitan Police said:

"We are extremely pleased with the response to the Crimewatch appeal.

"The incident room is following up a number of enquiries.

"Our appeal continues and later today I will be travelling to Holland, and tomorrow Germany, to continue the appeal for information.

"Madeleine remains at the heart of everything we do and I will continue to update the McCann family as more information is received by the incident room."

Speaking on Crimewatch last night, Madeleine's Catholic parents spoke about the new information.

Gerry McCann said:

"We're feeling hopeful and optimistic.

"All along we've said a review needed to be done and the Metropolitan Police have done a great job in piecing things together, bringing all the information and identifying new information which is taking us forward."

Father Tim Buckley is the priest at Bishop Eaton parish church in Liverpool where two of Madeleine's grandparents attend. He tells Premier's Marcus Jones he's hopeful the calls and emails will lead to something.

Madeleine, from Rothley in Leicestershire was three years old when she disappeared from the holiday apartment she was staying at in Praia da Luz, Portugal back in 2007. Her parents had been dining at a Tapas bar just fifty metres away and had been regularly checking on her and her twin brother and sister while they slept. Despite huge search operations in Portugal and the UK she's still not been found. Father Keith Tomlinson is the priest at Sacred Heart Church in Rothley where the McCann's have attended. He told Premier's Des Busteed on the News Hour he's unconvinced last night's appeal will lead to anything significant.

Despite the large amount of responses, Police are still asking for anyone with information to come forward. It's asking people from the UK to call 0800 0961011, or from abroad, +44 20 7 1580126, or email [email protected].

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