Kate McCann could be reinterviewed on the orders of a judge as police struggle to gather enough evidence to charge her, it emerged last night.
Investigating judge Pedro dos Anjos Frias is expected to order Madeleine's mother back to Portugal for a fresh grilling over the accusation that she accidentally killed the little girl and then mounted an elaborate cover-up with her husband Gerry.
Detectives failed to extract a confession from the couple in two days of heated confrontations in Portugal, and police fear their case may founder without one.
The embattled McCanns, who were made "arguidos", or official suspects, a week ago yesterday, have challenged officers to come up with a body or abandon their campaign to "frame" them.
Kate and Gerry McCann firmly believe their daughter could still be alive and are devastated that the police case against them is undermining the search for Madeleine, who vanished 135 days ago from their holiday apartment in the Algarve.
Yesterday Portuguese police made the heartbreaking assessment that Madeleine's body "may no longer exist".
One senior detective said investigators believed Madeleine could have been killed and her body dumped at sea in a bag weighed down with stones.