LONDON - A new British police television appeal about the 2007 disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann in Portugal has triggered an unprecedented public response, programme makers said Tuesday.
British detectives who have spent two years raking over the case published new electronic images of men they want to trace, plus a reworked timeline of events leading up to Madeleine's disappearance.
Police said the appeal, broadcast Monday on BBC TV's "Crimewatch", triggered more than 300 calls and 170 emails from the public.
They are keen to find one man seen carrying a young child in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on the night of May 3, 2007, around the time Kate McCann discovered her eldest daughter was missing from their holiday apartment.
London's Metropolitan Police said the man was of "vital importance" in their quest to discover what happened to Madeleine, who vanished just a few days before her fourth birthday.
"Crimewatch" editor Joe Mather told BBC radio: "It's been a truly unprecedented response.
"There were lots of calls from British people who were in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine's disappearance who'd never previously spoken to the Met.
"Several callers mentioned the same name" for the man seen carrying a child, he said.
"It is a long shot but it's remarkable how often results are possible even several years down the line.