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TODAY   |  March 20, 2014

Scotland Yard eyes man in Madeleine McCann case

After seven years of searching for British youngster Madeleine McCann, Scotland Yard is making a new plea for information on a man said to have targeted British tourists and their young girls in Portugal. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> in the potential new lead in the near 7-year-old disappearance of madeline mcccann.

>> good morning to you.

>> after seven years of searching dead-end leads, scotland yard is making a new plea to the public, this time for another monday who is said to have targeted british tourist and their young girls in portugal.

>> reporter: police say they hope to find a man accused of breaking into vacation homes of british tourists in portugal and sexual live assaulting five young girls between 2004 and 2010 .

>> what about a description of this guy?

>> we know he's spoken english to the children here, had a foreign accent .

>> reporter: they also place him in the resort town where 3-year-old madeline mccann disappeared from her bed without a trace in 2007 .

>> what we can see here is a man who has a very, very unhealthy interest in young, white female children who he's attacking whilst they're in their beds on vacation.

>> reporter: this information is not new. british police condition tend only some of the cases are handed over and the portuguese police didn't see a connection to mccann because there wasn't an abduction.

>> this is a a crime that's captured the public imagination. it's real unusual for scotland yard , british police to come in and investigate an abduction and possible killing abroad and find out what the portuguese police were able to find out.

>> reporter: another potential suspect for investigators and another glimmer of hope for her parents that madeline might one day come home.

>> they firmly believe she's still alive and still out there to be found, as do the british police .

>> reporter: again, scotland yard does not know the identity of this man. they do seem to have quite a detail description, a pot belly , a distinctive smell, tan with messy dark hair. they're hoping this can be the lead that finally solves this case.

>> katie outside scotland yard . thank