All the witnesses who came forward offering information about the missing youngster were waved away by indifferent officers in the Algarve.
The revelation was described as a 'disgrace' by friends of Kate and Gerry McCann, who are spearheading a renewed appeal to find their daughter two years after she vanished in Portugal.
Yesterday two private detectives employed by the couple were rebuffed as they tried to question paedophile Raymond Hewlett in his hospital bed in Germany.
Former soldier Hewlett, 62, who was living in the Algarve when Madeleine went missing and has a history of sex attacks on girls, hid in his room and refused to see the pair.
Hewlett, who has cancer, is one of several fresh leads that have flooded in to investigators in the past few weeks.
The McCanns are privately furious that the Portuguese police - who in theory are still in charge of the inquiry - have refused to accept new tip-offs.
A source close to the investigation said: 'In the last week, three or four people have approached the Portuguese police with information, and they were told not to worry them because the case was closed and she is dead.'
It is understood these people later gave their information directly to the McCanns' private detectives.