Madeleine McCann Case: London Police Target Three Burglars
01/14/2014 AT 07:00 AM EST
News about the trio, which was accompanied by reports that key arrests were finally imminent, followed a letter sent by the Crown Prosecution Services to authorities in Portugal on Friday, seeking permission to conduct interviews in connection with the case, reports CNN.
"The letter is a significant development. It is necessary for British police to request the Portuguese authorities allow them to operate on their turf," a spokesperson for Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, told the Mirror.
Pedro do Carmo, deputy national director of the Judiciary Police in Portugal, said the three people have yet to be detained. He also said Portuguese police have been in constant contact with law officials in the U.K.
This new bump in the case comes nearly three months after new computer-generated police sketches of potential suspects were released. Investigators also made a new public appeal on the BBC program Crimewatch, which aired in the U.K., the Netherlands and Germany.