In the Saxon town of Eilenburg, a massive taskforce of more than 80 special investigators were on Thursday hunting the murderer of a nine-year-old girl named Corinna, whose body was found partially clothed, wrapped in a garbage bag and dumped in a mill canal on Wednesday afternoon.
Public prosecutor Hans Strobl said a preliminary post-mortem confirmed Corinna had been sexually assaulted. He declined to give further details to avoid jeopardizing a future trial.
''We are investigating all possibilities,'' said Strobl. ''The perpetrator is still at large.''
Corinna, who was learning disabled, disappeared on Tuesday after leaving her home to play at a nearby playground around 4 pm.
Her body was found 24 hours later just 250 metres from where she lived.
On Friday, police dogs will be used for a second time to search for her clothing, police said.
The special investigation will also have support from the electronic case analysis system, which analyses a large number of clues and leads, a spokeswoman from the State Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA) said.
Crime scene investigators found about 100 items of forensic material on Wednesday, the spokeswoman said.
Officers from the special taskforce went house to house, carefully examining rubbish and supervising its removal in glass containers.
Psychological profilers will also be brought in, according to the LKA. Their work recently contributed to the arrest of a suspect in the murder of Michelle in Leipzig.
The police chief in Leipzig, Jürgen Georgie, said police were still trying to pinpoint Corinna's movements between 4 pm and 6 pm.
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''We don't yet know her movements,'' he said. ''There is no accused. There is no suspect.''
After Corinna failed to come home, her mother organised family and friends to search for her. At 7:45 pm they called police.
Saxony Premier Stanislaw Tillich, told local radio: ''It is abominable. Such people, who abuse children, face only the fullest severity of the law.''